Ex*plain", v. i. To give an
Ex*plain" (ĕks*plān"), v.
t. [imp. & p. p. Explained(-
plānd"); p. pr. & vb. n. Explaining.]
[L. explandare to flatten, spread out, explain; ex out
+ plandare to make level or plain, planus plain: cf.
OF. esplaner, explaner. See
Plain,a., and cf. Esplanade.]
1. To flatten; to spread out; to unfold; to
The horse-chestnut is . . . ready to explain
its leaf. Evelyn.
2. To make plain, manifest, or intelligible;
to clear of obscurity; to expound; to unfold and illustrate the
meaning of; as, to explain a chapter of the Bible.
Commentators to explain the difficult passages
to you. Gay.
To explain away, to get rid of by
explanation. "Those explain the meaning quite
Syn. -- To expound; interpret; elucidate; clear up.