in detail

I explained the issues in great detail.


The reasons for the accident have not been fully explained.

adequately, properly, really, satisfactorily, well
partially, partly

This partly explains why he was so late.

easily, readily, simply

This phenomenon can be easily explained.

helpfully, patiently

The doctor explained patiently what the treatment would be.

concisely, succinctly

The general principles behind the method used are explained clearly and concisely.

be able to, be unable to, can

I know I'm late, but I can explain why.

attempt to, seek to, try to

It is a book which seeks to explain the birth of Greek tragedy.

help (to)
purport to

Many theories purport to explain growth in terms of a single cause.

be difficult to, be hard to

It's difficult to explain exactly how the system works.

hasten to

She saw his quick frown and hastened to explain.

let sb

Let me explain what I mean.


She tried to explain about her fears and anxieties.


She explained the plan to me very carefully.

explain everything

I have a letter here which explains everything.

go a long way, some way, etc. towards/toward explaining sth

This goes some way towards/toward explaining the hostility between the two groups.

Explain is used with these nouns as the subject: ↑article, ↑difference, ↑document, ↑factor, ↑leaflet, ↑letter, ↑page, ↑paragraph, ↑report, ↑theory
Explain is used with these nouns as the object: ↑absence, ↑background, ↑basics, ↑complexity, ↑concept, ↑conduct, ↑decision, ↑detail, ↑difference, ↑disappearance, ↑discrepancy, ↑disparity, ↑effect, ↑existence, ↑extent, ↑fact, ↑failure, ↑feeling, ↑finding, ↑idea, ↑implication, ↑importance, ↑inability, ↑incidence, ↑incident, ↑meaning, ↑motivation, ↑motive, ↑mystery, ↑nature, ↑occurrence, ↑origin, ↑paradox, ↑phenomenon, ↑popularity, ↑predicament, ↑principle, ↑reason, ↑reasoning, ↑reluctance, ↑rule, ↑shift, ↑similarity, ↑situation, ↑success, ↑teaching, ↑term, ↑thing, ↑thinking, ↑variation, ↑view, ↑workings

Collocations dictionary. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • explain — 1 Explain, expound, explicate, elucidate, interpret, construe are comparable when they mean to make oneself or another understand the meaning of something. Explain, the most general term, implies a making of something plain or intelligible to… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Explain — Ex*plain ([e^]ks*pl[=a]n ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Explained}([e^]ks*pl[=a]nd ); 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • explain — [ek splān′, iksplān′] vt. [ME explanen < L explanare, to flatten < ex , out + planare, to make level < planus, level (see PLANE2): sp. infl. by PLAIN1] 1. to make clear, plain, or understandable 2. to give the meaning or interpretation… …   English World dictionary

  • explain — (v.) early 15c., from L. explanare to make level, smooth out; also to explain, make clear (see EXPLANATION (Cf. explanation)). Originally explane, spelling altered by influence of plain. In 17c., occasionally used more literally, of the unfolding …   Etymology dictionary

  • explain — ► VERB 1) make clear by giving a detailed description. 2) give a reason or justification for. 3) (explain oneself) excuse or justify one s motives or conduct. 4) (explain away) minimize the significance of (something awkward) by giving an excuse… …   English terms dictionary

  • Explain — Ex*plain , v. i. To give an explanation. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • explain — I verb account for, annotate, assign a meaning to, cause to be understood, clarify, clear of obscurity, clear up, decipher, define, demonstrate, describe, disentangle, elucidate, enlighten, enucleate, exemplify, expedire, explanare, explicate,… …   Law dictionary

  • explain — [v] make clear; give a reason for account for, analyze, annotate, break down, bring out, clarify, clear up, construe, decipher, define, demonstrate, describe, diagram, disclose, elucidate, excuse, explicate, expound, get across*, go into detail,… …   New thesaurus

  • explain — ex|plain W1S1 [ıkˈspleın] v [I and T] [Date: 1500 1600; : Latin; Origin: explanare to make level, unfold , from planus level, flat ] 1.) to tell someone about something in a way that is clear or easy to understand ▪ Our lawyer carefully explained …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • explain — ex|plain [ ık spleın ] verb *** 1. ) transitive to tell someone something in a way that helps them understand it better: My full name is Juliet Avery, Juliet explained patiently. explain something to someone: The doctor explained the risks to me… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • explain */*/*/ — UK [ɪkˈspleɪn] / US verb Word forms explain : present tense I/you/we/they explain he/she/it explains present participle explaining past tense explained past participle explained 1) a) [transitive] to tell someone something in a way that helps… …   English dictionary

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