explain Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “explain” in the English Dictionary

"explain" in British English

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explainverb [I or T]

uk   /ɪkˈspleɪn/  us   /ɪkˈspleɪn/
A2 to make something ​clear or ​easy to ​understand by ​describing or giving ​information about it: If there's anything you don't ​understand, I'll be ​happy to explain. The ​teacher explained the ​rules to the ​children. [+ question word] Our ​guide explained where the ​cathedral was. He explained how the ​machineworked. Please could you explain why you're so late. [+ that] She explained that she was going to ​stay with her ​sister. [+ speech] "Someone must have ​hit the ​wrongbutton," an ​official explained. Molly ​asked the ​teacher if she could explain herself a little more ​clearly (= say more ​clearly what she ​meant). No one has been ​able to explain (= give the ​reason for) the ​accident.
explain yourself
to give ​reasons for ​yourbehaviour: He hadn't been ​home for three ​days so I ​asked him to explain himself.

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Phrasal verbs
(Definition of explain from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"explain" in American English

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explainverb [I/T]

 us   /ɪkˈspleɪn/
to make something ​clear or ​easy to ​understand by ​describing or giving ​information about it: [I] If there’s anything you don’t ​understand, I’ll be ​happy to explain. [T] The ​teacher explained the ​procedure to the ​students. [+ question word] Bill explained how the ​programworks.
To explain is also to give a ​reason for doing something: [+ question word] He couldn’t explain why he did it.
(Definition of explain from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “explain”
in Korean 설명하다…
in Arabic يُفَسِّر, يَشْرَح…
in Malaysian jelas, menjelaskan…
in French expliquer…
in Russian объяснять…
in Chinese (Traditional) 解釋, 說明, 闡明…
in Italian spiegare…
in Turkish izah etmek, açıklamak, anlatmak…
in Polish wyjaśniać, tłumaczyć…
in Spanish explicar…
in Vietnamese giải thích…
in Portuguese explicar…
in Thai อธิบาย, ชี้แจง…
in German erklären, erläutern…
in Catalan explicar…
in Japanese 説明する…
in Chinese (Simplified) 解释, 说明, 阐明…
in Indonesian menjelaskan…
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