explain (oneself)

(redirected from explain herself)

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 (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 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
References in classic literature ?
With or without light, she was still bent on making Miss Jethro explain herself.
I opened my eyes, and made my girl explain herself.
Julius politely waited, until it pleased her to proceed further, and explain herself The explanation did not appear to be an easy one to give.
This reticence exasperated the curiosity of the young ladies, who crowded round little Giry, begging her to explain herself.
He controlled his wish to ask her to explain herself, and much to his pleasure she went on, appearing to search her mind.
The Chief Justice, from various reports, refused to explain herself to her colleagues, saying she would defend herself before the impeachment court.
With the exception of dutiful TV appearances during the election campaigns, Merkel speaks so little to the Germans that it appears she doesn't have anything to say, or doesn't see a reason to explain herself or doesn't deem it necessary to convince anyone of her sapience.
Because of that, he may begin to question Susan's insistence they leave town-and she will need to explain herself better than ever before.
But NBI agent Joshua Raymundo said she should just explain herself in court.
Labour sought to force Ms Patel to explain herself in front of MPs by tabling an urgent question on the issue in the House of Commons.
When the media wanted answers, Ruth took days to be dragged in front of a camera to explain herself.
When Zaman asks what this means, her sister responds by describing someone who must constantly explain herself, before noting: "I don't think a box can define a woman, any person, really.
April's best friend, Sophie--whose grandfather is married to Gaga--has become moody and secretive, refusing to explain herself to April.
Nicola's kiss with Dan is seen by Elliot so she tries to explain herself.
Home Affairs Committee chairman Keith Vaz yesterday said she must explain herself to MPs.