Definition of explain oneself in English:

explain oneself


  • 1Expand on what one has said in order to make oneself clear.

    • ‘Her appeal had been upheld on the basis that a judge had failed to use clear enough language to explain himself.’
    • ‘We give our clients cards detailing their condition so that if they have trouble explaining themselves, they can then show that person the card and hopefully they will be a little more considerate.’
    • ‘It had no caption or explanation following it, yet the pictures were not clear enough to explain themselves.’
    • ‘I have a lot more detailed information to this case but I would need to speak to someone person to person and have time to explain myself more clearly.’
    • ‘It is clear that despite our best endeavours to explain ourselves, a number of people think that the bank tightened monetary policy to cool down the property market.’
    • ‘I didn't explain myself very well in one paragraph, so I expanded on what I meant.’
    • ‘It's so hard to get out everything I want to say and to be clear and have the time to explain myself, and to create a kind of intimacy with an audience.’
    • ‘Many of them had a hard time developing clear arguments, explaining themselves fully, and understanding their own situation.’
    • ‘He jumped from one subject to another without explaining himself but he was perfectly clear… eventually.’
    • ‘When it was clear that the patient could explain himself perfectly well, the doctor asked the relative to wait outside in the corridor.’
    1. 1.1 Excuse or justify one's motives or conduct.
      ‘he was too panicked to stay and explain himself to the policeman’
      • ‘Youths can lay out the motives behind their choices and actions and explain themselves - if not to the people of this world, then to the ‘higher powers’ of gods and spirits.’
      • ‘My students feel they want to explain themselves and justify their ordinariness.’
      • ‘If you think it is justified, how will you explain yourself to those whose rights are being curtailed?’
      • ‘If I explain myself to clear these rumors, my life will never be normal again.’
      • ‘He is barely embarrassed - he explains himself without being defensive.’
      • ‘There are several reasons why it is necessary for an appellate court to ensure that the lawyer whose conduct is challenged has an opportunity to explain himself.’
      • ‘If the Prime Minister refused to explain himself over the war, his conduct would be judged at the ballot box, he added.’
      • ‘I don't feel all that bad about the hours they spend explaining themselves to the police.’
      • ‘Workers should be given an opportunity to explain themselves at a properly conducted meeting before decisions are made.’
      • ‘She wanted to explain herself, to clear her name.’