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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: If you elucidate a complicated plan, what are you doing?

  • You are making it easier to follow by removing some elements.
  • You are trying to make it clearer by explaining it in detail.
  • You are writing it out so that everyone has a copy of it.

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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  • Analysis of the cordage and ship parts, in addition to other components. . . will contribute to more precise understanding of sailing technology. 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 FDA will also ask the experts to weigh in on what additional studies should be done by the companies to further elucidate the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine after it is available under an [Emergency Use Authorization]. —NPR
  • 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
  • For all its popularity, empathy isn’t nearly as simple as so many blogs and books make it seem. . . . We checked in with several experts to help elucidate this surprisingly elusive concept. —The Washington Post

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