Meaning of explain oneself in English:

explain oneself


  • 1Expand on what one has said in order to make oneself clear.

    ‘Many of them had a hard time developing clear arguments, explaining themselves fully, and understanding their own situation.’
    • ‘It had no caption or explanation following it, yet the pictures were not clear enough to explain themselves.’
    • ‘I have a lot more detailed information to this case but I would need to speak to someone person to person and have time to explain myself more clearly.’
    • ‘Her appeal had been upheld on the basis that a judge had failed to use clear enough language to explain himself.’
    • ‘It is clear that despite our best endeavours to explain ourselves, a number of people think that the bank tightened monetary policy to cool down the property market.’
    • ‘It's so hard to get out everything I want to say and to be clear and have the time to explain myself, and to create a kind of intimacy with an audience.’
    • ‘He jumped from one subject to another without explaining himself but he was perfectly clear… eventually.’
    • ‘When it was clear that the patient could explain himself perfectly well, the doctor asked the relative to wait outside in the corridor.’
    • ‘I didn't explain myself very well in one paragraph, so I expanded on what I meant.’
    • ‘We give our clients cards detailing their condition so that if they have trouble explaining themselves, they can then show that person the card and hopefully they will be a little more considerate.’
    1. 1.1Excuse or justify one's motives or conduct.
      ‘he was too panicked to stay and explain himself to the policeman’
      • ‘My students feel they want to explain themselves and justify their ordinariness.’
      • ‘Workers should be given an opportunity to explain themselves at a properly conducted meeting before decisions are made.’
      • ‘If the Prime Minister refused to explain himself over the war, his conduct would be judged at the ballot box, he added.’
      • ‘If you think it is justified, how will you explain yourself to those whose rights are being curtailed?’
      • ‘Youths can lay out the motives behind their choices and actions and explain themselves - if not to the people of this world, then to the ‘higher powers’ of gods and spirits.’
      • ‘There are several reasons why it is necessary for an appellate court to ensure that the lawyer whose conduct is challenged has an opportunity to explain himself.’
      • ‘He is barely embarrassed - he explains himself without being defensive.’
      • ‘I don't feel all that bad about the hours they spend explaining themselves to the police.’
      • ‘She wanted to explain herself, to clear her name.’
      • ‘If I explain myself to clear these rumors, my life will never be normal again.’