Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “explain”

See all translations

explain

verb [I, T]
 
 
/ɪkˈspleɪn/
A2 to make something clear or easy to understand by giving reasons for it or details about it: [+ question word] Can you explain why you did this? Can you explain to me how this machine works? [+ (that)] He explained that he was going to stay with his sister. How do you explain her strange behaviour?Defining and explainingReasons and explanations
explaining noun [U] things you say to explain or give a good reason for your actions: You'll have a lot of explaining to do when dad finds out what happened.Defining and explaining
Translations of “explain”
in Korean 설명하다…
in Arabic يُفَسِّر, يَشْرَح…
in French expliquer…
in Turkish izah etmek, açıklamak, anlatmak…
in Italian spiegare…
in Chinese (Traditional) 解釋, 說明, 闡明…
in Russian объяснять…
in Polish wyjaśniać, tłumaczyć…
in Spanish explicar…
in Portuguese explicar…
in German erklären, erläutern…
in Catalan explicar…
in Japanese 説明する…
in Chinese (Simplified) 解释, 说明, 阐明…
(Definition of explain from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “explain” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

be as cold as ice

to be extremely cold

Word of the Day

Let’s celebrate! (words and phrases for parties)

by Kate Woodford,
December 17, 2014
​​​ With Christmas and New Year almost upon us, we thought it a good time to look at the language of parties and celebrations. First, let’s start with the word ‘party’ itself. To have or throw a party or, less commonly, to give a party is to arrange a party: We’re having a

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More