a detailed explanation of the meaning of something
The act of opening, unfolding, or explaining; explanation; exposition; interpretation.
a line by line explanation of a literary work.
a brief but in depth analysis of a piece of writing
a "close reading" of a passage
a one-page paper summarizing one argument from one book by one of the authors in our course
(F. from L. ex 'out' + plicare 'to fold'; §@«~¤ÀªR): An explanation, analysis, or interpretation of a text.
To explicate something is not just to summarize it, but to offer an interpretation by searching for meaning. If you are asked to explicate a poem, for example, you need to consider what you think the poem means.
A detailed analysis of a passage of prose or poetry. An explication would strive to explain how all the elements in an individual poem or passage work; a critic would analyze the various parts in order to interpret the poem. An explication goes one step beyond paraphrase because it attempts to discover the meaning of the work.