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For instance, if I wrote "word" with poor handwriting, and you couldn't tell what it was, but then I told you that it said "word", and you replied, "Ah, I see how it could say word." Is there a word describing this type of after-the-fact realization?

  • You might check synonyms of eureka or eureka moment. – Hot Licks Feb 6 at 3:13
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I like the informal definition of “click” (from OED):

click

(verb, informal):

Become suddenly clear or understandable.

‘I wasn't used to such good treatment, then it clicked: we were wearing suits’

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If someone 'sees' something after an explanation it is 'enlightenment'.

The action of bringing someone to a state of greater knowledge, understanding, or insight; the state of being enlightened in this way. Also: an instance of this.

OED

1990 Shareware Mag. Nov.–Dec. 9/1 This column is a place to network with other users for mutual enlightenment

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Elucidate (verb) or elucidation (noun). Both require explanation to bring about a sense of greater learning.

Merriam-Webster on elucidate:

(transitive) : to make lucid especially by explanation or analysis

(intransitive) : to give a clarifying explanation

Here's two examples based on what you wrote:

At first I didn't understand the inscription, but you elucidated it for me.

You provided elucidation to me, and for that I thank you.

  • That’s the word for explaining, not for the realization that comes after the elucidation. – Jim Feb 6 at 3:10
  • The thing is made lucid in your understanding by explanation or analysis. How is that different than realization? – TaliesinMerlin Feb 6 at 3:34
  • OP is asking for something more like “ah ha moment” imho – Jim Feb 6 at 3:40
  • Ahh. Okay. Then I think eureka is better than enlightenment or my answer, since both are bound up in the process rather than the realization itself. – TaliesinMerlin Feb 6 at 3:44
  • If I don’t understand, you elucidate, I then realize. – Jim Feb 6 at 3:45

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