Explain Ex*plain", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Explained; p. pr. & vb. n. Explaining.] [L. explandare to flatten, spread out, explain; ex out+plandare to make level or plain, planus plain: cf. OF. esplaner, explaner. See Plain,a., and cf. Esplanade.] 1. To flatten; to spread out; to unfold; to expand. [Obs.] The horse-chestnut is . . . ready to explain its leaf. --Evelyn. 2. To make plain, manifest, or intelligible; to clear of obscurity; to expound; to unfold and illustrate the meaning of; as, to explain a chapter of the Bible. Commentators to explain the difficult passages to you. --Gay. To explain away, to get rid of by explanation. ``Those explain the meaning quite away.' --Pope. Syn: To expound; interpret; elucidate; clear up., Explain Ex*plain", v. i. To give an explanation.