Often when I want to say that something became clear, I may instead say that the thing "became lucid" or that the thing is "becoming lucid"

is there a single word that I can substitute for this?

  • Bright, shining, luminous, resplendent, are the four words used by the OED that cover its first considered meaning of lucid. Remember we are talking here of a 'thing' becoming lucid, not a person, or their thoughts. You have to get down to meaning 4 of the OED before you find that one. – WS2 Feb 9 '15 at 21:24
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    Well, one could use "elucidate", but it would be a stretch in most contexts. – Hot Licks Feb 9 '15 at 21:29
  • As an aside, I would find the phrases "became lucid" or "becoming lucid" a bit odd and obtuse. I would more likely hear the phrase "became clear" or "becoming clear". – ghoppe Feb 9 '15 at 22:36
  • How about some concrete examples of how you'd want to use the word you're looking for? – SamB Feb 10 '15 at 0:03
  • @ghoppe Exactly! I was actually looking for a more poetic way to say "become clear", but "become lucid" just sounded ostentatious to me. Lucid is like one of my favorite words though, so I was wondering if there was a better way to say it. – Luke Feb 10 '15 at 0:35

If you refer to something that has been said or written, elucidate (tr vb) means "to make lucid especially by explanation or analysis." Merriam-Webster

  • "When asked for details, he declined to elucidate further.

Clarify can also be used. "to free of confusion" Merriam-Webster

  • "Just a moment, let me try to clarify my thoughts"

Edit: "Only now has the truth been elucidated/become evident."

  • This is certainly a good partial answer(and may be the closest thing) but this only works with "make lucid" I couldn't say that "the truth elucidated" or, "only now did the truth elucidate" could I? – Luke Feb 9 '15 at 21:37
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    @LukeP You could say "Only now has the truth become evident/become clear/been elucidated. – Centaurus Feb 9 '15 at 21:40

In less formal writing and in speech, I will use clicks or clicked as in "long division clicked once it was explained with examples." Thesaurus.com uses click as one of its distinctions for "become clear." This wouldn't necessarily work for "formal" writing though.

  • Elucidate: make (something) clear; explain - I don't think that fits the question. I can't find a single, "formal" word that fits. I think Clicked is it. – vahokie02 Feb 9 '15 at 21:49

You could say that it dawned on you.

dawn (v.)

Become evident to the mind; be perceived or understood:

the awful truth was beginning to dawn on him

(as adjective dawning) he smiled with dawning recognition

From oxforddictionaries.com.



From Mirriam-Webster:

to become known or apparent


The facts emerged after a lengthy investigation.

Coincidentally, I just read the following newspaper headline after posting this answer:

Charles Manson wedding off after it emerges that fiancee Afton Elaine Burton 'just wanted his corpse for display'


Possibly not always usable, unfold has this metaphorical sense:

unfold verb ...

2 to gradually become clearer or more detailed

as the situation unfolded, it became clear that more help would be needed



You could say you had an "epiphany"

epiph·a·ny \i-ˈpi-fə-nē\ noun . . . : a moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way (Free Dictionary)


You can say you are ENLIGHTENED.

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