The Meaning of Implicit: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of implicit? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word implicit, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word implicit mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, the word implicit is an adjective that means implied or inherent. This may not be plainly expressed, as opposed to something that is explicit like explicit information, explicit starts, or an explicit meaning. Many things can be implicit, like implicit trust, implicit confidence, implicit faith, implicit criticism, an implicit warning or implicit assumption, an implicit presumption, implicit understanding, implicit belief, implicit attitudes, implicit information, the implicit threat of violence, an implicit agreement, or many other things that can be done in an implicit way. Implicit has three syllables -im-plic-it, and the pronunciation of implicit is ɪmˈplɪsɪt. The noun form of implicit is implication, and the adverb form is implicitly.

There are many languages around the word that also contain words that mean implicit. You may notice that many of these translations of implicit from Word Sense look and sound similar to the word implicit. These are called cognates. These cognates are often formed when two words in different languages have the same root or language of origin.

  •  Roman: implicitan‎
  •  Danish: implicit‎
  •  Macedonian: имплицитен‎, подразбран‎
  •  Catalan: implícit‎
  •  Persian: ضمنی‎ (zemni)
  •  Japanese: 暗黙‎
  •  Chinese:隱含‎的、不‎言明‎的
  •  Galician: implícito‎
  •  Scottish Gaelic: fillte‎
  •  Portuguese: implícito‎
  •  Cyrillic: имплицитан‎
  •  Dutch: impliciet‎
  •  German: implizit‎
  •  Finnish: epäsuora‎, implisiittinen‎
  •  Polish: domyślny‎ (masc.), domniemany‎ (masc.), niejawny‎ (masc.)
  •  Asturian: implícitu‎
  •  Occitan: implicit‎
  •  Greek: υπονοούμενος‎ (masc.), σιωπηρός‎ (masc.)
  •  French: implicite‎, tacite‎
  •  Spanish: implícito‎
  •  Turkish: örtülü‎, üstü kapalı‎
  •  Romanian: implicit‎
  •  Russian: нея́вный‎, скры́тый‎
  •  Czech: implicitní‎
  •  Italian: implicito‎
  •  Tagalog: hiwatig‎

What is the origin of the word implicit?

According to Etymonline, the word implicit has been used since c16 Middle English and comes from the French implicite or directly from Latin implicitus, a later variant of implicatus or variant of implicātus. Implicatus comes from the past participle of implicare or the variant past participle of implicāre and the assimilated form of the roots in and plicare. 

What are synonyms and antonyms of the word implicit?

There are a plethora of different words that one can use in place of the word implicit. These are called synonyms, which are words that have the same definition as a given word or phrase. Someone might choose to use a synonym because they want to steer clear of repeating themselves, or because they want to work on expanding their own vocabulary. The below list of synonyms for the word implicit is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  virtual
  •  inbuilt
  •  categorical
  •  oblique
  •  perfect
  •  unreserved
  •  taken for granted
  •  unhesitating
  •  unconditional
  •  utter
  •  unuttered
  •  unquestioning
  •  inherent
  •  indirect
  •  total
  •  implicitly
  •  unspoken
  •  latent
  •  practical
  •  understood
  •  unalienable
  •  hinted at
  •  unstated
  •  wordless
  •  unvoiced
  •  unwritten
  •  absolute
  •  complete
  •  by implication
  •  default
  •  inference
  •  built-in
  •  underlying
  •  inferred
  •  constructive
  •  alluded to
  •  suggested
  •  firm
  •  inferential
  •  confident
  •  unexpressed
  •  tacit
  •  unqualified
  •  undeclared
  •  certain
  •  inexplicit
  •  unacknowledged
  •  implied
  •  unsaid
  •  insinuated
  •  silent
  •  wholehearted

If someone wanted to describe something or someone that has the opposite meanings of implicit, they could use what is called an antonym. An antonym is a word or phrase that has the opposite meaning as a given word or phrase. This list of antonyms for the word implicit is also provided by  Power Thesaurus

  •  bona fide
  •  accurate
  •  seeable
  •  comparative
  •  clear-cut
  •  unequivocal
  •  explicit
  •  unambiguous
  •  correct
  •  in limbo
  •  abridged
  •  clog
  •  high-key
  •  chaste
  •  condemn
  •  expressed
  •  deceptive
  •  absolute
  •  charged
  •  actual
  •  authenticated
  •  confirmed
  •  declared
  •  clogged
  •  authentic
  •  borderline
  •  specific
  •  apparent
  •  categorical
  •  hardly likely
  •  voiced
  •  choral
  •  graphic
  •  bit
  •  definitive
  •  babbling
  •  decisive
  •  certain
  •  blatant
  •  block
  •  alternating
  •  crawling
  •  definite
  •  accidental
  •  non-working
  •  said
  •  blackness
  •  arguable
  •  express
  •  blocked-out

How can the word implicit be used in a sentence?

The word implicit can be used in many different ways in natural sounding English. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions and add them to your vocabulary. You can also try making flashcards or a quiz to test your knowledge of different definitions of English words. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are a few different examples of the word implicit used in sentences to help get your started. 

The implicit bias test was a touchy subject that caused many discourses on racist behavior in the class at Harvard University. The teacher’s role was to keep things civil between the young middle class protestors and the older wealthy people in the class during the discussions of these topics. Their essays made it clear who was aware of their own inherent beliefs and who werre not. 

She had an implicit trust of her staff – she would not hire anyone that she did not trust wholeheartedly, and it was a shame when that trust was broken. 

There was confusion in the jury as to their implicit bias. Who could say what was someone’s essential nature versus a bias?

She had an implicit belief in the noble intentions of the emperor, and complete faith that he would pull through to protect everyone. She had a revelation and realized he was all talk.

She was inherently talented at solving mysteries like Sherlock Holmes. She was able to gather all of her clues and create timelines in her head of exactly how the crimes happened, as well as who executed them. 

Overall, the word implicit means inherent or not plainly expressed. This word is of French, Latin, and Indo-European roots, from a form of implicatus. This is a great word to use when you are discussing many different topics with others. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! 


  1. Implicit synonyms – 511 Words and Phrases for Implicit | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Implicit antonyms – 166 Opposites of Implicit | Power Thesaurus 
  3. implicit: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  4. implicit | Origin and meaning of implicit | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  5. Implicit definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary