Explicate vs expletive

Explicate means to examine something methodically and develop a theory or to explain it clearly. Explicate is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are explicates, explicated, explicating, explication, explicative, explicator, explicatory. Explicate is derived from the Latin word explicatus, which means explain, unravel.

An expletive is a swear word or oath exclaimed in an emotional fashion. Expletive may also be used as an adjective to describe a syllable or word used in a line of verse to adjust the meter without changing the meaning of the line. The adverb form is expletively. The word expletive comes from the Latin word expletivus which means serving to fill out.


Applying Schmitt’s theory in this way not only helps to explicate the war on terror but also adds a new dimension to Schmitt’s Theory of the Partisan by showing how states may respond to the partisan disruption of conventional war. (Telos Press)

Eustace’s motivation is harder to explicate; he is a seemingly reluctant protagonist more focused on the engineering and logistics of the effort than any profound statement of human purpose. (Discovery Magazine)

The film is ­silent and, like Waiting for Godot 15 years ear­lier, uses comic devices to leaven as well as to explicate fundamentally dark themes. (The Australian)

“How dare these idiot legislators think they can stop me — me, the lord god of dishonoring the antiquated notion of separation of powers and this (expletive) notion that they are the bosses, not me.” (The Tribune-Review)

She continued: “Love does not win unless we start loving each other enough to fix our [expletive] problems” — starting, she argued, with restricting access to guns like the semiautomatic that Omar Mateen used to kill dozens of clubgoers. (The New York Times)

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