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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 (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, to

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

*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, to

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

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
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

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
According to IbsIntelligence, Max Chuard, CEO, Temenos, said, 'Logical Glue is a true innovator and their patented, award-winning Explainable AI platform and AI credit scoring models are unique in the banking industry.
"If AI was determining whether you should get a bail or a loan, for example, then it becomes very important to have explainable AI with increased transparency," he says.
There was substantial work on making these systems more explainable, but they fell short of user needs for comprehension (for example, simply summarizing the inner workings of a system does not yield a sufficient explanation) and proved too brittle against real-world complexities.
Saenko's research paper, "Explainable Neural Computation via Stack Neural Module Networks," was presented this past fall at the European Conference on Computer Vision in Munich, Germany.
DENIS BOYLES OFFERS A FEW SUCH ruminations about the nature of the 11th edition in Everything Explained that Is Explainable, and they are delightful.
Mehmoodur Rehman, President Officers Welfare Association, said the pain of the lost lives was not explainable. IIUI was proud of its Alumni who sacrificed their lives, he added.
It is suspected that Hinkley Point C, like its soulmates in France and Finland, will suffer from "complexity" where systems/hierarchy are neither completely understood nor explainable. Pushed by scientists, technologists, economists and politicians, engineers delude themselves that they will eventually know what is initially unknown and is costly to find out before the build.
As the plagues go from bad (but scientifically explainable) to worse (and clearly divinely ordered), the viewer begins to feel bad for Pharaoh and the rest of the Egyptians.
The discursive phenomenon of common sense has specific compensatory, corrective, or mediating functions for 18th-century British culture, says Henke, that to a certain degree make the historical contingency of its emergence and its modifications explainable. He shows how appeals to common sense in the spheres of religion, politics, and knowledge were intended to facilitate consensus and compromise, but also to oust the enemies of common sense and force them into submission in view of its apparent dictates.
The letter asked Mr Hamilton to bear in mind that expenses had to be "fully explainable" to the pensioners who sent money to the party's Lexdrum House HQ in Newton Abbot, Devon.
He gave an interview to Spain's El Mundo in which he expressed his firm belief that el mundo was the work of scientifically explainable phenomena, not of a supreme being.
"Some of her signs during resuscitation, although explainable by her medical condition, could also have been caused by Ebola virus, and hence this diagnosis needed to be excluded," the statement said.
Carrying of such foreign exchange without explainable source is also against the provisions of anti-laundering Act, 2010.
Source termed the income, generated in Pakistan and converted into foreign exchange without paying taxes, a criminal act, adding that such foreign exchange without explainable source was against the provisions of Anti Money Laundering Act, 2010.