Etymology
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clarify (v.)

early 14c., "make illustrious, glorify, make known" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French clarifiier "clarify, make clear, explain" (12c.), from Late Latin clarificare "to glorify," literally "to make clear," from Latin clarificus "brilliant," from clarus "clear, distinct" (see clear (adj.)) + combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").

Meaning "make clear, purify" (especially of liquors) is from early 15c. in English. Figurative sense of "to free from obscurity, render intelligible" is from 1823.  Intransitive sense of "grow or become clear" is from 1590s. Related: Clarified; clarifying.

updated on December 16, 2017

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Definitions of clarify from WordNet

clarify (v.)
make clear and (more) comprehensible;
clarify the mystery surrounding her death
Synonyms: clear up / elucidate
clarify (v.)
make clear by removing impurities or solids, as by heating;
clarify beer
clarify the butter
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.