• WordNet 3.6
    • n explanation thought that makes something comprehensible
    • n explanation 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"
    • n explanation the act of explaining; making something plain or intelligible "I heard his explanation of the accident"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Explanation A mutual exposition of terms, meaning, or motives, with a view to adjust a misunderstanding, and reconcile differences; reconciliation; agreement; as, to come to an explanation .
    • Explanation That which explains or makes clear; as, a satisfactory explanation .
    • Explanation 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.
    • Explanation The meaning attributed to anything by one who explains it; definition; interpretation; sense. "Different explanations of the Trinity]."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n explanation The act of explaining. The act or process of making plain or clear the nature, meaning, or significance of something; the act of rendering intelligible what was before obscure, as by analysis or description; elucidation; interpretation: as, the explanation of a passage in Scripture, or of a contract or treaty.
    • n explanation The process of showing by reasoning or investigation the causal or logical antecedents or conditions of some thing or event which is to be accounted for; specifically, the making clear by reasoning how certain observed or admitted facts may have been brought about by the action of known principles, if a certain supposition is allowed; the unification of a confused mass of facts, by means of a single known or supposed fact from which they would all necessarily or probably result.
    • n explanation That which is adduced as explaining or seeming to explain; specifically, a meaning or interpretation assigned; the sense given by an expounder or interpreter.
    • n explanation An inquiry into language used, actions, or motives, with a view to adjust a misunderstanding and reconcile differences; hence, reconciliation or reëstablishment of good understanding between persons who have been at variance.
    • n explanation Synonyms Explication, elucidation, description.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Explanation act of explaining or clearing from obscurity: that which explains or clears up: the meaning or sense given to anything: a mutual clearing up of matters
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  • George Eliot
    “There is a great deal of unmapped country within us which would have to be taken into account in an explanation of our gusts and storms.”
  • Harold S. Geneen
    “I think it is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises -- but only performance is reality.”
  • Will Rogers
    “Communism to me is one-third practice and two-thirds explanation.”
  • Professor William Buechner
    Professor William Buechner
    “The simplest explanation is that it doesn't make sense.”
  • Benjamin Disraeli
    “There is no waste of time in life like that of making explanations.”
  • Saki
    “A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanations.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. explanatio,: cf. OF. esplanation,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. explaner—L. explanāreex, out, planāreplanus, plain.


In literature:

Darke makes no attempt at explanation.
"The Death Shot" by Mayne Reid
I am not in that dilemma: I could explain it easily enough; but it scarcely merits an explanation.
"The War Trail" by Mayne Reid
The explanation only partially satisfied her, and she regarded him doubtfully.
"The Music Master" by Charles Klein
In the explanations that followed, no one showed a livelier interest than Peggy herself.
"About Peggy Saville" by Mrs. G. de Horne Vaizey
A sense of delicacy hinders the naturalist from riding over to the Tovas town, and asking explanation why the chief delays keeping his word.
"Gaspar the Gaucho" by Mayne Reid
I was determined, however, to have an explanation with Brace and ask his advice.
"Ran Away to Sea" by Mayne Reid
If you were a really intelligent man no explanation whatever would be necessary.
"General John Regan" by George A. Birmingham
If the facts are as you say, then one explanation is as reasonable as the other.
"The Tyranny of the Dark" by Hamlin Garland
Some of these are simple, but others require a little knowledge for their explanation.
"The Romance of Names" by Ernest Weekley
All the same, it was the only explanation Malone had, and he cherished it deeply.
"Out Like a Light" by Gordon Randall Garrett

In poetry:

To plumb the essence of the past,
The first foundations,
The crux, the roots, the inmost hearts,
The explanations.
"In everything I seek to grasp..." by Boris Pasternak
Dear friends who hear my song,
Of brain decay acquit me.
That explanation's wrong -
I'll make it clear. Permit me.
"A Pastoral" by P G Wodehouse
The stars, disdainful of my thought,
Majestic march toward their goal,
And to my nightly watch have brought
No explanation to my soul.
"The Door Of Humility" by Alfred Austin
LUCY. For such flattering declarations
Rude and ignorant am I,
So my arms will give reply;
Which gets rid of explanations.
Let their silent interfacing
Figure what my words should be.
"The Purgatory Of St. Patrick - Act I" by Denis Florence MacCarthy
"And here," said he, "Jules probably will ask,
"'You have black eyes, Love,—you are, sure enough,
"'My peerless bride,—then do you tell indeed
"'What needs some explanation! What means this?'"
—And I am to go on, without a word—
"Pippa Passes: Part II: Noon" by Robert Browning

In news:

I wish I could find a proper explanation about this situation.
There's a simple explanation for UCLA's 35-17 loss to Stanford on Saturday: It's called the USC hangover.
Their story gives a detailed explanation of the home energy rating procedure and talks with C.R.
"Reading Law," cowritten with Bryan A Gardner, is an explanation of the textual originalist philosophy.
(See third paragraph in first link above for an explanation of the distinction.
After missing last season with a foot injury, though, Greene remains absent from spring practice, with little explanation from coach Tom O'Brien.
In this outtake from James Levine: America's Maestro, James Levine gives an explanation of his unique approach to conducting an orchestra – how he believes in being a "teacher conductor.".
A pathologist who performed a second autopsy on Drew Peterson's third wife years after she was found dead in her bathtub says the only plausible explanation for her death is that she was murdered.
I'm glad to hear an explanation as to why, although that explanation was a depressing one.
Here's a great explanation of photosynthesis complete with interactivity to keep you students engaged.
Whether he sincerely believes in it or not, Contador's clenbuterol defense creates a plausible alternate explanation for his positive.
At the time, Clerk-Recorder Tom Daly had no explanation for the September decline.
A radical new explanation from psychologists.
(Our experts asked for further clarification from this reader who had a question in the Q&A section of eZine 298, and here is his expanded explanation.
Are there any economic explanations for the world running riot, especially in North Africa.

In science:

Although there might be other explanations for this behavior, the most natural interpretation is in terms of collective motion.
Remarks on the extraction of freeze-out parameters
The discussion of section 2 allows for a second explanation.
Remarks on the extraction of freeze-out parameters
For a more precise explanation, let us say that a subset A of a given model M of T is implicitly definable if there exists a sentence ϕ(P ) such that A is the unique set with (M , A) |= ϕ(P ).
Definability of initial segments
We thus have a quantitative explanation for why Figure 14 of WS looks like a ring.
Beware the Non-uniqueness of Einstein Rings
We realized that the road configuration is the most relevant piece of information in the description of an accident, since it conditions all the following steps (see Section 3.4 for further explanations).
Generating a 3D Simulation of a Car Accident from a Written Description in Natural Language: the CarSim System