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Explicit vs Implicit


  • ‘Explicit’ (adj) describes something that is very clear and without ambiguity.
  • ‘Implicit’ (adj) describes something that is vague and not directly expressed.

What’s the difference between ‘explicit’ and ‘implicit’?

Despite having similar forms (only the prefix differs), these two words have completely opposite meanings. This makes it all the more important not to confuse them.A tip to differentiate them is to remember the ‘parental advisory explicit content’ label for adult-related material, used to warn the public against vulgar content expressed in a direct manner.

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How they’re used

Example sentences with ‘explicit’/’implicit’

  • Explicit learning is superior to implicit learning for L2 vocabulary retention.
  • The study explored implicit and explicit attitudes towards female authority.