English dictionary

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English verb: explain

1. explain (communication) make plain and comprehensible

SamplesHe explained the laws of physics to his students.

ExamplesSam and Sue explain the movie


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody.
Something ----s something.
Somebody ----s that CLAUSE

Broader (hypernym)inform

Narrower (hyponym)account for, clarify, clear up, comment, elucidate, interpret, naturalize, rede

2. explain (communication) define

SamplesThe committee explained their plan for fund-raising to the Dean.

ExamplesThey explain that there was a traffic accident

Pattern of useSomebody ----s that CLAUSE

Broader (hypernym)say, state, tell

3. explain (communication) serve as a reason or cause or justification of

SamplesYour need to sleep late does not excuse your late arrival at work.
Her recent divorce may explain her reluctance to date again.


Pattern of useSomething ----s something

Broader (hypernym)justify, vindicate

Narrower (hyponym)alibi

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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