Pronunciation key

( iks-plisit )



[Fr. explicite < L. explicitus pp. of explicare to unfold. see EXPLICATE].

    • Expressed with clarity and stated precisely; distinctly expressed; leaving nothing subtle or implied; definate; distinguished from implicit.
    • Clearly defined and formulated.
  1. Forthright; stating unreservedly what is meant in expression, and without disguise. Outspoken. For instance, "He was explicit in his critique."

—ex•plic′it•ly adv. —ex•plic′it•ness n.

Syn. Explicit and Express apply to what is clearly stated rather than implied and so distinctly put forth that there should be no reason to doubt the meaning. Explicit applies specifically to situations where something is carefully spelled out, such as Explicit instructions. Express adds to explicit the ideas of directness and positiveness; the intention or will such as An express promise to finish her chores after one hour. Exact and Precise, both of which in this connection imply a strict definition, are stated accurately and fastidiously clear. Definite suggests precise limits to character, nature and meaning, etc. Specific conveys the pointing out of details or particularizing of references.

Ant. vague, ambiguous.


  • Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language (College Edition) ©1955
  • The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition ©1985
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