Definition of elucidate in English:



  • Make (something) clear; explain.

    ‘work such as theirs will help to elucidate this matter’
    [with clause] ‘in what follows I shall try to elucidate what I believe the problems to be’
    [no object] ‘they would not elucidate further’
    • ‘It requires judges to use appropriate cases to elucidate the instrument that they are applying, to interpret and explain it.’
    • ‘It elucidates his artistic goals and style, while placing the artist in the broader context of American art and culture.’
    • ‘Communications brought in by apparent additions such as quantum theory are elucidated.’
    • ‘Since it is not of interest for me here to elucidate the nature of promising, I shall sidestep this issue.’
    • ‘In it, he elucidates the intrinsic connection between the two phenomena.’
    • ‘But this same light is a photographer's gift, elucidating the complexities and contrasts of the country.’
    • ‘Also, the emphasis was much more on elucidating the experience of something like vegetarianism than is often the case with quantitative research.’
    • ‘People argue that fiction cannot elucidate the holocaust and I think they might be right.’
    • ‘She emphasizes the importance of historical and physical context in the process of interpreting a work of art, elucidating the subject matter and identifying the protagonists.’
    • ‘Her strength as an artist may be that she elucidates her ideas so clearly and yet, when looking at her retrospective at the MCA, you feel that it's also her biggest liability.’
    • ‘Bessire elucidates the role of both blackness and whiteness in that oeuvre, and in this framework, race is depicted not as people but as a system of categorization.’
    • ‘It is however predictable that she is particularly good at elucidating the influences on Joyce of all the female members of his family and those of his patrons and benefactors.’
    • ‘Live-action movies elucidate concepts such as cloning, vaccination and forensics.’
    • ‘Dave Pollard elucidates the difference between search and research - you'll be expert when you finish this piece.’
    • ‘So how does her biographical account elucidate his artistic identity and development?’
    • ‘Lest there be an accusation of harsh criticism, we should say their success in elucidating some aspects of Islamic economics deserves commendation.’
    • ‘The term aura, with its associations of authenticity, power, and presence in a work of art, proves to be apt for elucidating the primary concerns of this book.’
    • ‘Having grabbed the attention he then used the interview to elucidate the argument.’
    • ‘In attempting to elucidate the significance of this paradox, I want to proceed carefully.’
    • ‘We will be closer to elucidating the basis of quintessentially human qualities like language and self-awareness.’
    explain, make clear, make plain, illuminate, shed light on, throw light on, clarify
    comment on, interpret, explicate, expound on, gloss, annotate, spell out
    clear up, sort out, resolve, straighten out, straighten up, unravel, untangle
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century: from late Latin elucidat- made clear from the verb elucidare, from e- (variant of ex-) out + lucidus lucid.