"open space, level or sloping, especially in front of a fortification," 1590s, from French esplanade (15c.), from Spanish esplanada "large level area," noun use of fem. past participle of esplanar "make level," from Latin explanare "make level, flatten," from ex "out" (see ex-) + planus "flat" (from PIE root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread"). Or perhaps the French word is from or influenced by Italian spianata, from spianare.
mid-14c., "to crush;" early 15c., "crouch on the heels," from Old French esquatir, escatir "compress, press down, lay flat, crush," from es- "out" (see ex-) + Old French quatir "press down, flatten," from Vulgar Latin *coactire "press together, force," from Latin coactus, past participle of cogere "to compel, curdle, collect" (see cogent). Meaning "to settle on land without any title or right" is from 1800. Related: Squatted; squatting.
"an act of explaining; a meaning or interpretation assigned," late 14c., explanacioun, from Latin explanationem (nominative explanatio) "an explanation, interpretation," noun of action from past-participle stem of explanare "to make plain or clear, explain," literally "make level, flatten," from ex "out" (see ex-) + planus "flat" (from PIE root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread").
An individual fact is said to be explained, by pointing out its cause, that is, by stating the law or laws of causation of which its production is an instance. Thus. a conflagration is explained, when it is proved to have arisen from a spark falling into the midst of a heap of combustibles. [J.S. Mill, "Logic"]
early 15c., explanen, "make (something) clear in the mind, to make intelligible," from Latin explanare "to explain, make clear, make plain," etymologically "make level, flatten out," from ex "out" (see ex-) + planus "flat" (from PIE root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread").
The spelling was altered by influence of plain. Also see plane (v.2). In 17c., occasionally used more literally, of the unfolding of material things: Evelyn has buds that "explain into leaves" ["Sylva, or, A discourse of forest-trees, and the propagation of timber in His Majesties dominions," 1664]. Related: Explained; explaining; explains. To explain (something) away "to deprive of significance by explanation, nullify or get rid of the apparent import of," generally with an adverse implication, is from 1709.