Synonyms/Hypernyms (Ordered by Estimated Frequency) of verb explain

3 senses of explain

Sense 1
explain, explicate -- (make plain and comprehensible; "He explained the laws of physics to his students")
       => inform -- (impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to; "I informed him of his rights")

Sense 2
explain -- (define; "The committee explained their plan for fund-raising to the Dean")
       => state, say, tell -- (express in words; "He said that he wanted to marry her"; "tell me what is bothering you"; "state your opinion"; "state your name")

Sense 3
excuse, explain -- (serve as a reason or cause or justification of; "Your need to sleep late does not excuse your late arrival at work"; "Her recent divorce may explain her reluctance to date again")
       => justify, vindicate -- (show to be right by providing justification or proof; "vindicate a claim")

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