AskDefine | Define explanation

Dictionary Definition



1 a statement that makes something comprehensible by describing the relevant structure or operation or circumstances etc.; "the explanation was very simple"; "I expected a brief account" [syn: account]
2 thought that makes something comprehensible
3 the act of explaining; making something plain or intelligible; "I heard his explanation of the accident"

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /ˌɛkspləˈneɪʃən/, /%Ekspl@"neIS@n/
  • Rhymes: -eɪʃǝn


  1. The act or process of explaining
    The explanation was long and drawn-out.
  2. Something that explains
    The explanation for the UFO sightings was easily found.

Related terms


the act or process of explaining
  • Chinese:
    Mandarin: (jiěshì)
  • Danish: forklaring
  • German: Erläuterung, Erklärung, Ausführung
  • Hungarian: magyarázat
  • Japanese: (, setsumei)
  • Portuguese: explicação , explanação
  • Russian: объяснение
something that explains

Extensive Definition

An explanation is a description which clarify causes, context, and consequences of a certain object, and a phenomenon such as a process, a state of affairs. This description may establish rules or laws, and may clarify the existing ones in relation to an object, and a phenomenon examined. The components of an explanation can be implicit, and be interwoven with one another.
An explanation is often underpinned by an understanding that is represented by different media such as music, text, and graphics. Thus, an explanation is subjected to interpretation, and discussion.
In scientific research, explanation is one of the purposes of research, e.g.,exploration and description. Explanation is a way to uncover new knowledge,and to report relationships among different aspects of studied phenomena.
Some types of explanations are:

External links

explanation in Bulgarian: Обяснение
explanation in German: Erklärung
explanation in Spanish: Explicación
explanation in French: Explication
explanation in Galician: Explicación
explanation in Dutch: Verklaring (wetenschap)
explanation in Norwegian: Forklaring
explanation in Slovak: Vysvetlenie
explanation in Finnish: Selittäminen
explanation in Turkish: Açıklama

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abstraction, accomplishment, account, allegorization, analysis, answer, ascertainment, body of theory, case, case in point, cause, clarification, clearance, clearing, clearing up, commentary, construction, cracking, criticism, decipherment, decoding, definition, delineation, demonstration, demythologization, denouement, description, destigmatization, destigmatizing, determination, disclosure, disentanglement, doctrinairism, doctrinality, doctrinarity, editing, elucidation, emblem, emendation, end, end result, enlightenment, euhemerism, example, exculpation, excuse, exegesis, exemplar, exemplification, explication, exponent, expose, exposition, expounding, finding, finding-out, grounds, illumination, illustration, instance, interpretation, issue, justification, key, light, meaning, mere theory, motive, object lesson, outcome, pretense, pretext, purgation, purging, rational ground, rationale, rationalization, reason, reason why, rehabilitation, reinstatement, relevant instance, representative, resolution, resolving, restoration, result, riddling, signification, simplification, solution, solving, sorting out, speculation, stated cause, symbol, tentative explanation, the big idea, the idea, the whatfor, the wherefore, the why, theoretic, theoretical basis, theoretical structure, theoretics, theoria, theoric, theorization, theory, type, typical example, underlying reason, unified theory, unlocking, unraveling, unriddling, unscrambling, unspinning, untangling, untwisting, unweaving, upshot, vindication, working, working-out
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