To explain something is to define it, show how it works, or just tell what it is. Explaining helps people understand.

If you know football really well, then you could probably explain it to a non-fan. Explaining makes things clearer. A lot of teaching is explaining — telling how something works. Also, if you do something wrong, people will ask you to explain your actions. Explaining can help someone "get it" — whatever "it" is.

Definitions of explain
  1. verb
    make plain and comprehensible
    “He explained the laws of physics to his students”
    synonyms: explicate
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    interpret, rede
    give an interpretation or explanation to
    account for
    give reasons for
    explain with reference to nature
    clarify, clear up, elucidate
    make clear and (more) comprehensible
    explain or interpret something
    make less mysterious or remove the mystery from
    clear, clear up, crystalise, crystalize, crystallise, crystallize, elucidate, enlighten, illuminate, shed light on, sort out, straighten out
    make free from confusion or ambiguity; make clear
    evaluate or criticize with hindsight
    moralise, moralize
    interpret the moral meaning of
    interpret (a text or an artwork) by the method of deconstructing
    re-explain, reinterpret
    interpret from a different viewpoint
    serve as a commentator, as in sportscasting
    interpret falsely
    dilate, elaborate, enlarge, expand, expatiate, exposit, expound, flesh out, lucubrate
    add details, as to an account or idea; clarify the meaning of and discourse in a learned way, usually in writing
    state unambiguously or remove ambiguities from
    annotate, comment, gloss
    provide interlinear explanations for words or phrases
    make a commentary on
    DJ, disc-jockey, disk-jockey
    comment on music to be played
    type of:
    impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to
  2. verb
    “The committee explained their plan for fund-raising to the Dean”
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    type of:
    say, state, tell
    express in words
  3. verb
    serve as a reason or cause or justification of
    “Her recent divorce may explain her reluctance to date again”
    synonyms: excuse
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    exonerate by means of an alibi
    type of:
    justify, vindicate
    show to be right by providing justification or proof
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