Pronunciation: (ik-splān'),[key] —v.t. 1. to make plain or clear; render understandable or intelligible: to explain an obscure point. 2. to make known in detail: to explain how to do something. 3. to assign a meaning to; interpret: How can you explain such a silly remark? 4. to make clear the cause or reason of; account for: I cannot explain his strange behavior.
—v.i. 1. to give an explanation.
2. explain away, a. to diminish or nullify the significance of by explanation: He couldn't explain away his absence from home at the time the robbery was committed. b. to dispel (doubts, difficulties, etc.) by explanation: She explained away the child's fears.