Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Explicit \Ex"pli*cit\ [LL., an abbreviation of explicitus (est liber) the book (which anciently was a roll of parchment) is unfolded (and, of course, ``finished''). See Explicit, a.] A word formerly used (as finis is now) at the conclusion of a book to indicate the end.
Explicit \Ex*plic"it\, a. [L. explicitus; p. p. of explicare to unfold: cf. F. explicite. See Explicate, Exploit.]
Not implied merely, or conveyed by implication; distinctly stated; plain in language; open to the understanding; clear; not obscure or ambiguous; express; unequivocal; as, an explicit declaration. Opposite of implicit.
The language of the charter was too explicit to admit of a doubt.
Having no disguised meaning or reservation; unreserved; outspoken; -- applied to persons; as, he was earnest and explicit in his statement.
Explicit function. (Math.) See under Function.
Syn: Express; clear; plain; open; unreserved; unambiguous.
Usage: Explicit, Express. Explicit denotes a setting forth in the plainest language, so that the meaning can not be misunderstood; as, an explicit promise. Express is stronger than explicit: it adds force to clearness. An express promise or engagement is not only unambiguous, but stands out in bold relief, with the most binding hold on the conscience. An explicit statement; a clear and explicit notion; explicit direction; no words can be more explicit. An explicit command; an express prohibition. ``An express declaration goes forcibly and directly to the point. An explicit declaration leaves nothing ambiguous.''
--C. J. Smith.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
1610s, "open to the understanding, not obscure or ambiguous," from French explicite, from Latin explicitus "unobstructed," variant past participle of explicare "unfold, unravel, explain," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + plicare "to fold" (see ply (v.1)). As a euphemism for "pornographic" it dates from 1971. Related: Explicitness. "Explicitus" was written at the end of medieval books, originally short for explicitus est liber "the book is unrolled."
a. 1 Very specific, clear, or detailed. 2 (context euphemism English) Containing material (e.g. language or film footage) that might be deemed offensive or graphic. 3 (context obsolete English) (non-gloss definition: Used at the conclusion of a book to indicate the end.)
Explicit (from Latin explicare, "to unfold" and thus also make visible) can mean:
- Sexually explicit, content that might be deemed offensive or graphic
- Explicit knowledge, knowledge that can be readily articulated, codified, and can be easily transmitted to others
- the final words of a text; contrast with incipit
Usage examples of "explicit".
Villiers, the leader of the anti-cornlaw party in the commons, demanded final and explicit explanations from the government, alleging that distrust and alarm filled the country.
The tapes from Allure were as explicit as anything shown on Ninth Avenue in New York, or Zeedijk Street in Amsterdam, or the Peeperbahn in Hamburg.
He has misunderstood because his mind was not prepared by making the proper apperceiving ideas explicit.
We have no direct, explicit attestations to guide us, so I saved this problem for the end.
The expert opinion was more explicit at the next meeting, held the day of the Shaw-Gregory testimony and attended by those doctors, the wound ballistics experts, Specter, McCloy, and others.
In the case of Alana Bassin, cited previously, the identification is quite explicit.
Alan guessed that Bonner had given the boy a ticket with explicit instructions in the newspaper he had dropped on the cafe table, probably for a flight that would board immediately so that any pursuers would be blocked-as Alan was--by the complexity of the terminal.
And this consideration, perhaps it was, which prevented Captain Blifil from being more explicit with Mrs.
The thoracotomy which had gone to theatre two days earlier was showing signs of congestion, so Eugenia sent for Harry and he in turn went away to fetch Mr Grenfell, who came unhurriedly, examined his patient, wrote up fresh instructions and asked that the physiotherapist should be sent for so that he might give explicit instructions about essential breathing exercises.
Indeed, the very process of moving away from the initial procedure of prepublication censorship had involved the explicit stigmatization of the left as the new enemy of democracy.
It looks at how we acquire the knowledge that lets us productively and pleasurably navigate malls that offer few explicit directions.
We have, then, to face on the one hand the authority of all writers about the Sacro Monte, and on the other, the exceedingly explicit claim made by Rossetti himself in the inscription given above.
It also appears, in the next place, from numerous explicit passages, that the New Testament authors, in common with their countrymen, supposed the souls of the departed to be gathered and tarrying in what the Church calls the intermediate state, the obscure under world.
He insinuates into his visualizable descriptions crucial elements not made explicit in his narrative.
Again and again have the most explicit statements been made by the most competent persons of the utter failure of all their trials, and there were the same abundant explanations offered as used to be for the Unguentum Armarium arid the Metallic Tractors.