9

The definition of explicit that I wish to use:

stated clearly and in detail, leaving no room for confusion or doubt.

E.g. the speaker's intentions were not made explicit.

My motivation: I'm analyzing 'Follower' (by Seamus Heaney) right now and I want to comment on the word "exactly" in 'Mapping the furrow exactly'. My comment is something along the lines of

"Mapping the furrow" already attributes a high level of skill and precision to his father. The use of the word 'exactly' adds an extra layer to the phrase and makes it explicit.

10
  • @Solocutor "explicate" is not what I'm looking for, as it means to analyze or break down.
    – Airdish
    Apr 1, 2016 at 15:12
  • The link I just posted should give you a list of synonyms of "make explicit" not just explicate.
    – Solocutor
    Apr 1, 2016 at 15:14
  • 1
    If I were going to specify a word, it would be "explicitify".
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 1, 2016 at 18:41
  • 1
    What about "explicate"?
    – Juya
    Jun 21, 2019 at 3:12

3 Answers 3

7

I think you are looking for to specify:

  • state a fact or requirement clearly and precisely: the agency failed to specify that the workers were not their employees.

(ODO)

1
  • Close, but it doesn't capture exactly what I'm looking for. Please see my edit for additional context.
    – Airdish
    Apr 1, 2016 at 15:15
4

I believe the word you were looking might be "clarify".

Google

And with regard to generally removing doubt or confusion, "disambiguation" should be considered.

Google

I'll just leave this here, maybe it's what you were looking for, maybe not.

2

"Mapping the furrow" already attributes a high level of skill and precision to his father. The use of the word 'exactly' adds an extra layer to the phrase and makes it explicit. reworking:

"Mapping the furrow" attributes on its own a high level of skill and precision to his father. The addition of 'exactly' intensifies the visual impact of the phrase and suggests an obsessive or over zealous aspect to the activity.

2
  • I agree with this tack. The OP's underlying question is really what's the right word/phrase for explaining "exactly" in the poem, which does not seem to be "makes it explicit".
    – k1eran
    Apr 1, 2016 at 16:19
  • I disagree with this tack. The explanation should be more accessible and commonly understood than what is being explained, but this rework seems focused instead on making the language more academic and specific.
    – meustrus
    Feb 11, 2020 at 16:26

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