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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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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. They were there, side by side, leaning forward simultaneously in one movement of entreaty and fear, communicating their terror to one another, taking a keen pleasure in feeling their blood freeze in their veins.
I have tried vainly to make her explain herself. She has promised to confide everything to you ."
He controlled his wish to ask her to explain herself, and much to his pleasure she went on, appearing to search her mind.
Understanding is a thing as well; a man who knows her so well she doesn't need to have to explain herself for he just gets it.
So what does it say about us, as society as a whole, that an 18-year-old whose ambitions take a different route feels the need to explain herself on a public platform?
This also signaled to her that I wanted to be fair because I was giving her the time to prepare and to explain herself.
A certain Tatiana (@talalangski) assured Eigenmann that she does not need to explain herself to anyone.
or, actually, not trying to explain herself so much as say
He said: "As parents we should have been informed of the hearings so we could go and hear her explain herself.
Now, with her daughter also demanding answers out of her, Brooke will have to explain herself once again, and if she's lucky, Hope will not be disappointed in her the same way Ridge was.
She also has to explain herself to the European Parliament regarding her visits financed from abroad," the Azerbaijani MP said.