1610s, "open to the understanding, not obscure or ambiguous," from French explicite, from Latin explicitus "unobstructed," variant past participle of explicare "unfold, unravel, explain," from ex "out" (see ex-) + plicare "to fold" (from PIE root *plek- "to plait").
As a euphemism for "pornographic" it dates from 1971 (phrases such as sexually explicit are earlier). Related: Explicitness. "Explicitus" was written at the end of medieval books, originally short for explicitus est liber "the book is unrolled."
common adverbial suffix, forming from adjectives adverbs signifying "in a manner denoted by" the adjective, Middle English, from Old English -lice, from Proto-Germanic *-liko- (cognates: Old Frisian -like, Old Saxon -liko, Dutch -lijk, Old High German -licho, German -lich, Old Norse -liga, Gothic -leiko); see -ly (1). Cognate with lich, and identical with like (adj.).
Weekley notes as "curious" that Germanic uses a word essentially meaning "body" for the adverbial formation, while Romanic uses one meaning "mind" (as in French constamment from Latin constanti mente). The modern English form emerged in late Middle English, probably from influence of Old Norse -liga.