explain\ away

v
To explain (smth) so that it does not seem true or important.

John explained away his unfinished homework by showing the teacher his broken arm in a cast.

It is hard to explain away Abraham Lincoln's dream about being dead, which he had a few days before he was shot.

The man could not explain away the gun and the marked money from the bank robbery that the police found in his car.


Словарь американских идиом. — СПб., Изд-во "Лань". . 1997.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • explain away — (something) to invent reasons why something is unimportant. You will find it hard to explain away all these mistakes. Rather than face the truth, we try to explain it away …   New idioms dictionary

  • explain away — index negate, rationalize Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • explain away — transitive verb transitive verb 1. : to get rid of by or as if by explanation was trying to speak some words that … would explain away all the mistakes and misunderstandings of life Ellen Glasgow 2. : to minimize the significance of by or as if… …   Useful english dictionary

  • explain away — phrasal verb [transitive] Word forms explain away : present tense I/you/we/they explain away he/she/it explains away present participle explaining away past tense explained away past participle explained away to tell someone about something in a… …   English dictionary

  • explain away — {v.} To explain (something) so that it does not seem true or important. * /John explained away his unfinished homework by showing the teacher his broken arm in a cast./ * /It is hard to explain away Abraham Lincoln s dream about being dead, which …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • explain away — {v.} To explain (something) so that it does not seem true or important. * /John explained away his unfinished homework by showing the teacher his broken arm in a cast./ * /It is hard to explain away Abraham Lincoln s dream about being dead, which …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • explain away — PHRASAL VERB If someone explains away a mistake or a bad situation they are responsible for, they try to indicate that it is unimportant or that it is not really their fault. [V P n (not pron)] He evaded her questions about the war and tried to… …   English dictionary

  • explain away — verb To dismiss or minimize by explanation, especially with regard to problems. He couldnt just explain away all of his problems. See Also: explain, explanation, explanatory …   Wiktionary

  • explain away — transitive verb Date: 1704 1. to get rid of by or as if by explanation 2. to minimize the significance of by or as if by explanation < explains his faults, but does not try to explain them away M. K. Spears > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • explain away — (Roget s Thesaurus II) I verb To conceal or make light of a fault or offense: extenuate, gloss over, gloze (over), palliate, sleek over, whitewash. See SHOW. II verb See EXPLAIN …   English dictionary for students

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