explain away


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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 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 away

v.
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 ?
Stop trying to explain away the figures and get to the root of this disease once and for all.
In addition, she attempted to explain away her purchase of a "home" in England - asserting that the property was to lodge the books, letters, archives and memorabilia of her father, the late Sean O'Casey.
In the end, "chronicity proved more durable than reform," as the category of chronicity itself was used by the professional community to explain away its failures.
The purely critical instinct aims to chop up, reduce, and explain away any object.
Our rivers and streams are teeming with salmon, yet farmers have been pushed into bankruptcy, businesses are closing, and a way of life is being destroyed while government officials explain away listing fish that really aren't endangered at all," said Brooks.
As Nicola Sturgeon shuffled her papers, only education minister Mike Russell honked his support as Salmond tried to explain away his comments.
Cabinet ministers try to explain away the debilitating splits as the inevitable stresses and strains of power-sharing and dress them up as honest, principled debate.
They all deserve the highest praise, unlike the leader and deputy leader of the city council, who as far as I could tell, left their juniors in the lurch to attempt to explain away what had happened in the media.
We went out to look and at first a few people scoffed at the idea they were UFOs but then they started to move and you could not explain away what we were seeing.
Once the initial shock at these attempted outrages had subsided, my thoughts drifted off to Dr Mohammad Naseem of Central Mosque and how, in his inimitable way, he could explain away such events.
In the same-sex "marriage" debates, nobody could possibly explain away the biblical injunctions against homosexuality, to say nothing of the universal cultural traditions which have always and only understood marriage to be between one man and one woman.
TOTTENHAM boss Martin Jol trying to explain away the unfortunate abbreviation of his brother's name.
Nor did she explain away any of the other logical inconsistencies having to do with claims made by federal investigators:
Companies like to explain away some of their worst (and often cheapest) ingredients with words like "decadence.
Rusedski will face an ATP doping tribunal in Montreal on February 9 when he will attempt to explain away a positive test for the banned steroid nandrolone and avoid a potential two-year ban.