To explicate is to explain or interpret something, maybe putting it in plain terms to make it more comprehensible for others. It might help to remember that it begins with "ex-," like the word explain, which is similar in meaning.

The verb explicate comes from the Latin explicāre, which means "to unfold or unravel." This is a good description of a word that means to explain something to make it clearer and more easily understandable. Think of a puzzle or mystery: when you solve it, you sometimes have to explicate how you arrived at the solution, telling how you used the clues given to find the answer.

Definitions of explicate
  1. verb
    elaborate, as of theories and hypotheses
    synonyms: develop, formulate
    elaborate by the unfolding of a musical idea and by the working out of the rhythmic and harmonic changes in the theme
    acquire, develop, evolve
    gain through experience
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    develop and work out fully in one's mind
    redevelop, reformulate
    formulate or develop again, of an improved theory or hypothesis
    type of:
    conjecture, hypothecate, hypothesise, hypothesize, speculate, suppose, theorise, theorize
    to believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds
  2. verb
    make plain and comprehensible
    synonyms: explain
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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
Word Family

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