Definition of clarify in English:


See synonyms for clarify

Translate clarify into Spanish

transitive verbtransitive verb clarifies, transitive verb clarifying, transitive verb clarified

[with object]
  • 1Make (a statement or situation) less confused and more clearly comprehensible.

    ‘the report managed to clarify the government's position’
    • ‘She was not available for comment, or to clarify the exact circumstances surrounding the case.’
    • ‘A further consultation was required to clarify the situation and restore trust.’
    • ‘I hope that clarifies the situation for members.’
    • ‘I occasionally had to ask him to either repeat himself or clarify his comments.’
    • ‘The bill also clarifies the position for employees who are sick or bereaved on a public holiday.’
    • ‘The bill also clarifies the relationship between archives legislation and the Official Information Act.’
    • ‘Could you please clarify which of these days it is?’
    • ‘A statement clarifying the situation is expected to be issued today.’
    • ‘Further investigation would be required to more fully clarify this matter.’
    • ‘But the rules changed several times, and he did not clarify which set he relied on.’
    • ‘And I want to quickly clarify two things I've just heard.’
    • ‘There are some important issues that need to be clarified at the outset.’
    • ‘Now the calls for the President to clarify the matter have begun to grow.’
    • ‘To clarify how this can work, let's briefly look at an example.’
    • ‘Would someone in the Government clarify who is at fault and who is not?’
    • ‘Further careful epidemiological research is needed to clarify who benefits most from such treatment.’
    • ‘What I have sought to do is clarify the role of the Advisory Council.’
    • ‘A further amendment clarifies when public records need to be created.’
    • ‘We have now clarified that there was a typo in the press release.’
    • ‘These letters raise fundamental political issues that need to be discussed and clarified.’
    make clear, shed light on, throw light on, elucidate, illuminate, make plain, make simple, simplify
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  • 2Melt (butter) in order to separate out the water and milk solids.

    ‘clarify the butter by using a spoon to skim off the foam’
    • ‘Ghee, which is clarified butter, is another commonly used recipe item and is often used for frying.’
    • ‘Clarifying butter removes the water and milk solids, leaving pure butterfat.’
    • ‘The cooked and clarified butter is then spooned off to avoid disturbing the milk solids on the bottom of the pan.’
    purify, refine
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/ˈklerəˌfī/ /ˈklɛrəˌfaɪ/


Middle English (in the senses ‘set forth clearly’ and ‘make pure and clean’): from Old French clarifier, from late Latin clarificare, from Latin clarus ‘clear’.