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at great length

For a long duration. When I came home after curfew, my mom interrogated me at great length. He spoke at great length about how he had been inspired by his trip.
See also: great, length

explain (oneself)

1. verb To clarify something that one has said or done. I'm sorry, I didn't quite follow your line of thinking—can you explain yourself?
2. verb To explain why one has done something, usually something bad or wrong. Often used as an imperative in the phrase "explain yourself." Now that they caught me plagiarizing, I'm going to have to explain myself before a disciplinary committee. Explain yourself—what could have possibly convinced you that it was OK to plagiarize your paper?
See also: explain

explain away

To try to minimize a problem or issue through explanation. A noun or pronoun can be used between "explain" and "away." He's trying to explain it away, but I know he lied to me.
See also: away, explain

explain (someone or something) to (one)

To attempt to improve one's understanding of someone or something through explanation. Please explain Claire to me because I can't understand some of the wacky things she's done. Can you explain this chapter to me? I just don't get it.
See also: explain

*at great length

for a long period of time. (*Typically: explain ~; question someone ~; speak ~.) The lawyer questioned the witness at great length.
See also: great, length

explain (oneself)

1. to explain what one has said or done or what one thinks or feels. (Formal and polite.) Please take a moment to explain yourself. I'm sure we are interested in your ideas. Yes, if you will let me explain myself, I think you'll agree with my idea.
2. to give an explanation or excuse for something wrong that one may have done. (Usually said in anger.) Young man! Come in here and explain yourself this instant. Why did you do that, Tom Smith? You had better explain yourself, and it had better be good.

explain someone or something to someone

to give information or instruction about someone or something to someone. Please explain it to me. Can you explain Andrew to me?
See also: explain

explain something away

to explain something so that it is no longer a problem. You can try to explain it away if you want, but that won't solve the problem. You can't just explain away all your problems.
See also: away, explain

explain away

Dismiss or minimize the importance of something, especially something detrimental. For example, "His words were taken down, and though he tried to explain them away, he was sent to the Tower" (Thomas Macaulay, The History of England, 1855). [c. 1700]
See also: away, explain

explain oneself

1. Clarify what one has said or done, as in If you have a few minutes, I'll try to explain myself. [First half of 1600s]
2. Demand or give an explanation or excuse for something wrong one has done. For example, You're three hours late-can you explain yourself?
See also: explain

exˈplain yourself

1 give somebody reasons for your behaviour, especially when they are angry or upset because of it: I really don’t see why I should have to explain myself to you.
2 say what you mean in a clear way: Could you explain yourself a little more — I didn’t understand.
See also: explain

explain away

To dismiss or minimize the significance of something by explanation: The candidate tried to explain his earlier misstatements away. The researcher explained away the criticisms that were raised against her hypothesis.
See also: away, explain
References in periodicals archive ?
explains and discusses why and who can learn the Alexander Technique, type A verses type B personalities, and how the Alexander Technique can help both personalities.
Accounting itself, he explains, is a young profession there, and one being built from the ground up.
People with the gene seem to get Alzheimer's about 8 to 10 years earlier than non-carriers," explains Lyketsos, who coauthored the Cardiovascular Health Cognition Study.
Explain why you agree or disagree that this taw infringes on management rights.
In addition, he explains the tools that come along with most digital imaging software, showing how to best use layers, levels, curves, colorization and many more.
This explains the unique and rapid evolution of humans, compared with our closest evolutionary cousins, the apes," he says.
In this highly readable book, Watts explains how sociologists, mathematicians, physicists, and experts from other disciplines converged to explore the new field of networks and "small-world" models.
Explain how wood is debarked and the importance of this operation to paper quality.
These findings are consistent with--but not definitive proof of--the argument that systematic differences in the schools attended by white and black children may explain the divergence in test scores.
We detail an exercise, grounded in active and experiential learning theory, that requires students to identify, perform, and explain a memorable situation when a motivational theory is revealed in their daily lives.
How does one explain Turkish debt trading at only 350 basis points over U.
However, inadequate skills and lack of experience may explain the age differences in levels of burnout, as younger workers are more likely to be inexperienced (Koeske & Kirk, 1995; Rowe 2000).
For example, many organizations have "founder stories" that help to explain the culture and "the way things are done around here.
Therefore, we will explain the roles of our featured relocation specialists and describe some things they do to lessen the culture shock a Japan expatriate might experience.