Meaning of EXPLICIT in English


I. ex·pli·cit ˈekspləˌkit sometimes ekˈsplisə̇t noun

( -s )

Etymology: Late Latin, probably short for Latin explicitus unrolled, past participle of explicare to unroll, unfold; from the gradual unrolling of a scroll during the course of writing on it and its completely unrolled state when the writing is finished

: a statement formerly used at the end of a book or manuscript or section of a book or manuscript (as to indicate authorship or place and date of copying)

II. ex·plic·it ikˈsplisə̇t, ek-, usu -səd.+V adjective

Etymology: French or Medieval Latin; French explicite, from Medieval Latin explicitus, from Latin, free from obstacles, from explicitus, past participle of explicare to unfold — more at explicate

1. : characterized by full clear expression : being without vagueness or ambiguity : leaving nothing implied : unequivocal

that there might be no mistake as to the meaning of his satire Brackenridge set down … an explicit statement of his purpose — V.L.Parrington

— compare implicit

2. : clearly and fully developed or formulated : definite

how impossible it is … to have a clear and explicit notion of that which is infinite — Robert South

3. obsolete : having no complexities : simple

and that commonly called the plot, whether intricate or explicit — John Milton

4. : unreserved and unambiguous in expression : speaking fully and clearly : outspoken

he would not be more explicit about it; the wells of his loquacity were dried up — C.S.Forester

5. : externally visible : clearly observable

explicit movements

an explicit pattern of culture

6. : involving direct payment : monetary

explicit costs

explicit rent


definite , specific , express , categorical : the chief emphasis of the word explicit is on the notion of plain distinct expression that leaves no need for the reader or hearer to infer; the antonym of this word is implicit. It may also connote plainness, frankness, force, or fullness

these things are implicit in Augustine and existed before him: with Gregory they have become explicit, elaborated, and insisted on with recurrent emphasis — H.O.Taylor

he [Hamilton] pointed out that all the powers of the national government could not be set down in explicit words, for that would mean intolerable detail — Allan Nevins & H.S.Commager

definite , which has for its antonym indefinite, stresses the clear certainty of wording that leaves nothing unclear or doubtful, certainty sometimes attained by unadorned, flat statement, sometimes by careful limitation or definition

do the quinine derivatives act by attaching themselves to the bacteria or by changing the body fluids? It was a simple, clear, definite question — Sinclair Lewis

specific indicates on the one hand being specified, particular, or individual or on the other marked by particulars and details sufficiently or amply treated

religion refers to the fundamental issues of human existence, while magic always turns round specific, concrete, and detailed problems — B.K.Malinowski

captions and legends in these pages are often mere generalized comments, devoid of specific information — e.g., identification of the illustration as to date, place, photographer — Saturday Review

express stresses the idea that whatever is under consideration has been expressed and not left to tacit understanding; it may suggest stress, cogency, directness, pointedness, or special emphasis in expression

if no express acknowledgment of these rights had been made … they were practically observed — J.R.Green

an express provision of the act required that the codes should not promote monopolies — F.D.Roosevelt

categorical stresses a positive or absolute absence of reserving qualification, demurrer, tentative condition

the question is always categorical: is this man guilty or not — W.G.Sumner

when documentary testimony was not the appropriate answer, Secretary Chapman gave specific categorical replies under oath — Saturday Review

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.