explain (oneself)

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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 ?
But how can I hope to explain myself here; and yet, in some dim, random way, explain myself I must, else all these chapters might be naught.
I assured him, "how extremely desirous I was that he should be satisfied on every point; but I doubted much, whether it would be possible for me to explain myself on several subjects, whereof his honour could have no conception; because I saw nothing in his country to which I could resemble them; that, however, I would do my best, and strive to express myself by similitudes, humbly desiring his assistance when I wanted proper words;" which he was pleased to promise me.
But soon, finding myself driven into a corner, I was obliged to explain myself point by point.
Do not ask me,' continued Mr Haredale, 'to explain myself.
It is an awkward word, but I do not know how better to explain myself.
I can't explain MYSELF, I'm afraid, sir' said Alice, `because I'm not myself, you see.
I need not explain myself farther; and though WE know this anxiety to be quite needless, yet if she feels it, it will easily account for her behaviour to me; and so deservedly dear as he is to his sister, whatever anxiety she must feel on his behalf is natural and amiable.
You look astonished, my dear sir--let me frankly explain myself.
I will say nothing to annoy you--I only ask leave to explain myself.
I have told you that I find it difficult to explain myself.
I don't want to touch it -- I only want to explain myself.
I also don't feel compelled to explain myself,' added the singer, who was featured in the song 'All the Stars,' the theme song of the blockbuster film, 'Black Panther.
Let me explain myself here: I deliberately refused to join any social media platform except Twitter because I cannot spend my waking hours waging vicarious wars using electronic gadgets.
I know I don't need to explain myself and I do ignore the 'haters' (hate that word).
People sometimes don't take me seriously and I have to explain myself all the time.