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  • Verb

elucidate

i-LOO-si-dayt

Context
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While giving directions to the international travelers, Jim elucidated their route by drawing a helpful and clear map. He also elucidated the confusing layout of streets in town by explaining how easy it was to get back to the central square if you followed three simple rules. Jim has a knack for explaining or elucidating difficult matters. He is a physics teacher who can elucidate and clarify complex subjects like quantum physics to his students in a plain and easily understood manner.

Quiz: What does elucidate mean?

  • To make something perfectly clear by explaining in detail.
  • To act in a thoughtful, generous way.
  • To give clear directions when someone is lost.

Memory Hook
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Lucy's Date I don't think that I can elucidate the fact any more clearly that the fascinating and dazzling Lucy has a date tonight, and that it's not with you.

Examples
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  • These unique artifacts elucidate not only shipbuilding technology and achievement, but also the vast administrative and bureaucratic nature of Middle Kingdom contacts with the world beyond Egypt’s borders. —USA Today
  • The museums don’t manage to elucidate some essentially American culture — because no such thing can or should exist, especially in a country as young and big and plural as this one. —The Washington Post
  • Many of Howard’s subjects may seem obscure, but the obscurity will be fleeting, as Howard’s goal in these essays is to teach, to elucidate, and to make our experience of the arts larger. —The Christian Science Monitor
  • The complaints about 'Beloved' elucidate Oscar Wilde’s observation: 'The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.' —Los Angeles Times

Word Ingredients
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e- thoroughly
luc light, brightness, clarity
-id of or relating to
-ate make something have a certain quality

If one elucidates a complex subject, one brings it “thoroughly” to “light,” or “makes it have the quality of thorough clarity.”

Word Theater
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Alice in Wonderland The Mad Hatter successfully elucidates a rather strange concept.
Elucidate

Word Constellation
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Elucidate