Something lucid (like a lucid argument or a lucid explanation) is really clear and easy to understand.
So, to elucidate something is to make it really clear, or make it really easy to understand.
il LOO sid ate
Part of speech:
(Like “eat,” “try,” and “want,” all transitive verbs do something to an object.
You eat a banana, try a game, and want a new phone.
Likewise, you elucidate something.)
elucidated, elucidating, elucidation
How to use it:
When "explain" isn't powerful enough and "clarify" doesn't express the clear brightness of whatever is now totally clear, pick "elucidate."
Just make sure that your context is on the formal side when you use "elucidate." "Shed light on" might be more appropriate if you need to be informal instead.
You can elucidate an argument, a piece of text, a concept or idea, a plan or policy, a system, a problem or situation, and so on.
Here's a suggestion--take it or leave it! If you find yourself saying "elucidate how..." or "elucidate why...", then see if you can just say "tell" or "say" or "explain" instead of "elucidate." To me, phrases like these are clunky: "elucidate how they lost the game," "elucidate why the policy doesn't apply to us." You can get your entire meaning across just by saying "explain how they lost the game" or "tell why the policy doesn't apply to us."
The problem with a lot of textbooks is that they're supposed to engage students and elucidate the subject matter, but they do neither.
Chad's series of lectures will help elucidate the purpose, format, content, and language of neuropsychological evaluation reports for those who need to interpret them.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "elucidate" means when you can explain it without saying "make lucid" or "make easy to understand."
Think of someone (like a teacher or parent) who helped you understand something difficult, and fill in the blanks: "By/Through/With (something in particular,) (person) elucidated for me (a particular concept, process, or idea.)"
Example: "With an ongoing history role-playing project that the whole class took part in, Mr. Cleek elucidated for me the complexity, hard work, and frightening risk involved in being a colonist."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're playing with song lyrics that include words featured in issues of Make Your Point. I’ll give you a few lines from the song, with a blank where our word appears, along with its definition. See if you can come up with it! You can follow the link to see the right answer right away, or just wait until the following day’s issue. Have fun!
Artist: Dixie Chicks Title: Long Time Gone Lyrics: Now they sound tired but they don't sound_____,
They've got money but they don't have Cash.
They got Junior but they don't have Hank. Definition: extremely worn-out and exhausted
Try this one today:
Artist: Earth, Wind, & Fire Title: Sparkle Lyrics: Lover forever unfolds magical moments together
And the fire to _____ melodies tonight Definition: to bring something into brilliant, passionate existence
A. Even a Disney movie can be richly symbolic
B. The best poetry speaks straight to your heart
C. The language of a legal contract is dense
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
At the root of today's word is the beautiful Latin lucidus, meaning bright, which makes a lot of sense when you think about how elucidating something means you're shedding light on it: making it easy to understand.
One of our previous words comes from a related and similar-sounding Latin term for "bright." That word means "famous and respected: glorious, like a shining light." Can you recall it? It starts with "i" and has four syllables.
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