convincing, credible, good, likely, logical, natural, obvious, plausible, probable, rational

The most likely explanation is that his plane was delayed.

implausible, inadequate, unlikely
acceptable, adequate, reasonable, satisfactory, sufficient

No further explanation is necessary.

no apparent

There was no apparent explanation for the attack.

clear, coherent
complete, comprehensive, detailed, full
complex, complicated
easy, simple
innocent, prosaic

There's sure to be a perfectly innocent explanation for all this—though I admit it looks bizarre.

accepted, traditional

There is no generally accepted explanation of this practice.

correct, real, true
lengthy, long

the common explanations for cancer

only, sole

It's the only explanation that makes any kind of sense.


The causal explanation must be that old age causes poverty, not that poverty causes people to be old.

ad hoc
cultural, historical, political, psychological, scientific, sociological, technical, theoretical

I had no explanation for her strange mood.

give (sb), offer (sb), provide (sb with)

He only offered a partial explanation for his lateness.

go into, launch into

She launched into a detailed explanation of every aspect of her work.

advance, propose, put forward

one explanation advanced by Marxist historians

call for, need, require, want

An explanation is clearly called for.

look for, seek
find, think of

I can think of one possible explanation for her reaction.

ask for, demand

She wrote to the company demanding an explanation.

wait for
deserve, merit

I suppose you deserve an explanation.

owe sb

I think you owe me an explanation.


Her success has been so remarkable as to defy explanation.


The simplest explanation for his achievements lies in his greater ability and superiority over his contemporaries at college.

emerge, occur to sb

No single clear explanation emerged from the experiments.

A more credible explanation now occurred to her.


Several possible explanations exist.

suggest sth
in explanation

‘I've worked with them before, you see,’ he added, in explanation.

without explanation

She left suddenly and without explanation.

explanation about

He entered into a technical explanation about software and programming.

explanation as to

He provided no explanation as to why he was late.

explanation for

There is probably some perfectly logical explanation for their absence.

explanation from

We are still waiting for a full explanation from the teacher concerned.

an attempt at explanation

The men left quickly with no attempt at explanation.

by way of explanation

‘I had to see you,’ he said, by way of explanation.

Collocations dictionary. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Explanation — Ex pla*na tion, n. [L. explanatio: cf. OF. esplanation.] 1. The act of explaining, expounding, or interpreting; the act of clearing from obscurity and making intelligible; as, the explanation of a passage in Scripture, or of a contract or treaty …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Explanation — (lat.), Erklärung, Erläuterung, Auslegung; explanatīv, erläuternd; explanieren, auslegen …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Explanation — Explanation, lat. dtsch., Erklärung; explanativ, erklärend; explaniren, erklären …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • explanation — I noun amplification, annotation, clarification, commentary, deciphering, defense, definition, delineation, demonstration, description, elucidation, enucleation, exegesis, exemplification, explanatio, explicatio, explication, exposition,… …   Law dictionary

  • explanation — (n.) late 14c., from L. explanationem (nom. explanatio), noun of action from pp. stem of explanare to make plain or clear, explain, lit. make level, flatten, from ex out (see EX (Cf. ex )) + planus flat (see PLANE (Cf. plane) (n …   Etymology dictionary

  • explanation — [n] clarification; reason account, annotation, answer, breakdown, brief, cause, comment, commentary, confession, definition, demonstration, description, details, display, elucidation, evidence, example, excuse, explication, exposition, expression …   New thesaurus

  • explanation — [eks΄plə nā′shən] n. [ME explanacioun < L explanatio < pp. of explanare] 1. the act of explaining 2. something that explains 3. the interpretation, meaning, or sense given in explaining 4. a mutual defining of terms, declaration of motives …   English World dictionary

  • explanation — n. 1) to give, offer, provide an explanation 2) to accept an explanation 3) a lucid; rational; satisfactory; simple; unsatisfactory explanation 4) an explanation for 5) an explanation that + clause (they accepted her explanation that she had been …   Combinatory dictionary

  • explanation */*/*/ — UK [ˌekspləˈneɪʃ(ə)n] / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms explanation : singular explanation plural explanations 1) a reason you give for something that has happened or something you have done I expected an explanation and an apology.… …   English dictionary

  • explanation — [[t]e̱kspləne͟ɪʃ(ə)n[/t]] ♦♦♦ explanations 1) N COUNT: also of/in N If you give an explanation of something that has happened, you give people reasons for it, especially in an attempt to justify it. She told the court she would give a full… …   English dictionary

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