Definition of explicate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɛksplɪkeɪt/


[with object]
1Analyse and develop (an idea or principle) in detail: an attempt 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, explain in detail, make explicit, clarify, make plain/clear, spell out;
interpret, elucidate, expound, comment on, develop, work out;
illuminate, throw light on, unfold, untangle, clear up, put into plain English;
criticize, appraise
1.1Analyse (a literary work) in order to reveal its meaning: these essays seek to explicate and contextualize Kristeva’s writings
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.



Pronunciation: /ɛkˈsplɪkətɪv/
Pronunciation: /ˈɛksplɪkeɪtɪv/
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.


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: /ɛkˈsplɪkət(ə)ri/ Pronunciation: /ˈɛksplɪkeɪt(ə)ri/
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.


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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ex¦pli|cate

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