Definition of explicate in English:


Syllabification: ex·pli·cate
Pronunciation: /ˈekspliˌkāt


[with object]
1Analyze and develop (an idea or principle) in detail: attempting to explicate the relationship between crime and economic forces
More example sentences
  • Some recent authors have written books attempting to explicate the concept of nomicity.
  • And while he may have lacked the gene for self-promotion, it is not as if no one else in public life had the opportunity to explicate his ideas for a larger public.
  • A great deal of Tilly's problem in briefly explicating his ideas flows from the enormous nature of the change proposed.
explain, make explicit, clarify, make plain/clear, spell out, untangle;
1.1Analyze (a literary work) in order to reveal its meaning.
More example sentences
  • It is a very historical text, as it was the first book in France to systematically defend and explicate Nietzsche's work, which was still suspected of fascism, even after the second World War.
  • The text explicates Cohen's work in a thoughtful and non-confrontational manner.
  • She strikes an effective balance between breadth and depth, not just explicating poems but contextualizing them among the larger community of Native poetry.


mid 16th century: from Latin explicat- 'unfolded', from the verb explicare, from ex- 'out' + plicare 'to fold'.



Pronunciation: /ˌekspliˈkāSHən/
More example sentences
  • I paused, trying to formulate a delicate explication.
  • We have recorded the menu, with a rough translation and explication, at the end of this essay.
  • They spoke for themselves in purely visual terms, without any need of bolstering explications, so I feel justified in neglecting to dig for subtexts.


Pronunciation: /-ˌkātiv/
More example sentences
  • This correlation could be explained by a particular migration scheme from Europe to Brazil without the explicative need of natural selection.
  • Certainly you could show that ‘trailer moment’ of the bus blowing up without putting it in such overly explicative story context.
  • Mr Phase performs in front of a screen of projected black and white static, along with the occasional caption and explicative comment.


Pronunciation: /-ˌkātər/
More example sentences
  • Arts writing is seen as subservient to the art, that it's role can only be one of an obvious and didactic explicator of hidden meanings.
  • The fact is that for all his polish and brilliance as an explicator of other people's ideas, he has never been much of an original thinker.
  • Steve Gould's greatest fame was not as a biologist but as an explicator of science for a lay public, in lectures, essays, and books.


Pronunciation: /ikˈsplikəˌtôrē/
More example sentences
  • Only from reading the explicatory reviews did I find out.
  • Its images tend to generate multiple interpretations - and do so without an accompanying sense of explicatory adequacy or closure.
  • Written in a clear, easy-to-follow style, the book is well researched, as is evident in the copious explicatory notes, at the end of the book, for each chapter.

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Word of the day retroflex
Pronunciation: ˈrɛtrə(ʊ)flɛks
turned backwards