Explicit or Implicit?

Explicit is an adjective that describes something clearly stated. It can also mean vulgar or offensive when describing language.

Implicit is an adjective that describes something implied, rather than stated.

One way to remember the differences between these two words is their first letters.
Think of exterior for explicit, since it is related to something clearly showing.
For implicit, think of interior, as its meaning is more related to concepts not on the outside of something expressed.


  • The law is very explicit about how these measures should be enacted.
  • Be sure to make yourself aware of the explicit details of the contract before signing the paperwork.
  • Her words contained an implicit threat.
  • The handshake between the two men was their implicit agreement to the terms of the contract. 

4 thoughts on “Explicit or Implicit?”

  1. Great explanation and most sayings would be true. BUT If someone is holding a gun and pointing it to you
    while saying,”I’m going to kill you”, I could be wrong but that sounds pretty explicit to me.

      1. Glad you agreed , but in rethinking my sentence, it could also be an Implicit threat until the trigger was pulled.!
        It seems one has to quite careful in using the words Explicit and Implicit in a sentence.
        Thank you Nancy for giving our older brains a workout.

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