Definition of explanation in English:



  • 1A statement or account that makes something clear.

    ‘the birth rate is central to any explanation of population trends’
    • ‘Can evolutionists, or creationists, offer the most satisfactory explanation of what happened?’
    • ‘Each image in this lavishly illustrated book is accompanied by a detailed explanation.’
    • ‘Provide a clear explanation of your aims and methods and be prepared to deal with concerns.’
    • ‘Select any term for a brief but clear explanation and links to documents in which the term is used.’
    • ‘This explanation would be more helpful if Fiore made it clear what kind of bats were in the funnel.’
    • ‘I still owe him pint-long explanations of existentialism and postmodernism, you know.’
    • ‘In conventional astrology, Lilly usually gave detailed explanations of his reasoning.’
    • ‘No adequate explanation has yet emerged of what took place last Friday night in the royal palace in central Kathmandu.’
    • ‘The explanation given by the volunteers helped people understand concepts in a better way.’
    • ‘This includes a summary explanation of cover offered during and after construction.’
    • ‘The explanation of the anecdote's use begins with a return to the rhetoric of travel writing.’
    • ‘The explanations are admirably clear, and the arrangement appears to be a very good one.’
    • ‘He provides clear explanations of complex economic issues, using anecdotes to illustrate each point.’
    • ‘I used footnotes for explanations necessary for the full exposition of the text.’
    • ‘Each paragraph contains a detailed explanation in easy-to-understand terms.’
    • ‘Marx never found the time to write his explanation of what is rational in the dialectical method.’
    • ‘There is a brief explanation in the explanatory note of the bill as to what all this is about.’
    • ‘This seems to contradict your rational explanation of magic from your previous posts.’
    clarification, simplification
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A reason or justification given for an action or belief.
      ‘Freud tried to make sex the explanation for everything’
      mass noun ‘my application was rejected without explanation’
      • ‘The appellant's explanation to police was ‘I was chasing goats’.’
      • ‘Thanks to Rhett in the comments section for offering a plausible explanation for the discrepancy in prices.’
      • ‘Nonetheless I do not accept the appellant's explanation concerning his passport.’
      • ‘Only by understanding motivation could historians hope to offer adequate causal explanations.’
      • ‘He proposed a simple explanation for the inconsistency between lab observations and what was actually occurring in the field.’
      • ‘Firstly, the authors' explanations for these serious irregularities were inadequate.’
      • ‘Well I think it's the natural impulse of scientists to seek the simplest, easiest explanation for a phenomenon.’
      • ‘Generally they were able to provide alternative naturalistic explanations for what had seemed totally mysterious.’
      • ‘Thus, no one perspective alone provides adequate explanation for the phenomenon of loan default.’
      • ‘People are just finding reasons and other explanations for the market downturn.’
      • ‘Now, the university assures that there is a rational explanation for the cases.’
      • ‘People keep trying to find rational explanations for their behavior.’
      • ‘We should not try to seek a simple explanation for the failure to achieve numerical equity because none exists.’
      • ‘I cannot see at the moment any satisfactory explanation for the six-month delay.’
      • ‘There are three explanations as to why dog owners are reluctant to clear up their dogs' faeces.’
      • ‘There might be all sorts of rational and reasonable explanations as to how the sample got to the scene.’
      • ‘The various excuses and explanations he has given are transparently false and dishonest.’
      • ‘There are no excuses or reasonable explanations for the way that this information was managed initially.’
      • ‘A likely explanation for this difference in light sensitivity is a difference in chlorophyll accumulation.’
      • ‘I suspect that there's no one reason and that the explanation varies from person to person.’
      account, reason
      View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Latin explanatio(n-), from the verb explanare (see explain).