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Clarify vs. Clarity: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on October 8, 2023
Clarify is a verb meaning to make something clear or understandable, while clarity is a noun representing the quality of being clear or easy to understand.

Key Differences

Clarify and clarity, while connected in meaning, serve different grammatical functions and are used in different contexts. Clarify is a verb and it refers to the action of making something less confusing and more comprehensible. It is about rendering ideas, statements, or concepts clear, removing ambiguities and misunderstandings. For example, a teacher may clarify a concept that is difficult for students to understand.
On the other hand, clarity is a noun that describes the quality of being clear, both in the literal sense, such as clear water, and in the figurative sense, such as clear instructions. It refers to the state or condition where things are understandable or transparent, and there is no confusion or ambiguity. It implies that the information or situation is easy to perceive, comprehend, or interpret.
In the act to clarify, one aims to achieve clarity. The need to clarify arises when there is ambiguity, confusion, or misunderstanding, and the goal is to reach a state where the subject at hand gains clarity, becoming easy to understand. The process of clarifying may involve explaining, defining, or illustrating the point in question until clarity is attained.
The notion of clarity is paramount in various fields like writing, teaching, and communication, where the conveyance of ideas and information must be clear to avoid misinterpretation. Clarity is sought after to ensure that the intended message is received accurately. On the contrary, to clarify is the process one undergoes to remove obstacles in understanding, which can include rephrasing, illustrating, or providing additional information.
While clarify involves the removal of ambiguity or confusion, clarity represents the absence of such ambiguity or confusion. Clarifying is an action, a process undertaken to elucidate, while clarity is a state or condition achieved when something is understandable and free from confusion.

Comparison Chart

Part of Speech



To make clear or understandable
The quality of being clear


Action or process
State or condition


Removes ambiguity or misunderstanding
Describes the absence of ambiguity or confusion


Used when there’s confusion or ambiguity
Used to describe clearness in expression or appearance

Clarify and Clarity Definitions


To remove ambiguity.
The teacher tried to clarify the complex concept.


The quality of being coherent and intelligible.
The clarity of her explanation was appreciated.


To make clear by explaining.
The scientist will clarify his findings.


Clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding.
The water had remarkable clarity.


To purify a liquid by removing impurities.
You should clarify the butter before using it in the recipe.


Freedom from ambiguity or obscurity.
The clarity of the contract avoided disputes.


To eliminate confusion or doubt.
The document was revised to clarify the requirements.


The quality of transparency or purity.
The clarity of the diamond was exceptional.


To make understandable.
Please clarify your instructions.


The state of being easily understood.
The clarity of the message enhanced communication.


To make clear or easier to understand; elucidate
Clarified her intentions.


Clearness of appearance
The clarity of the mountain air.


To clear of confusion or uncertainty
Clarify the mind.


Clearness of thought or style; lucidity
Writes with clarity and perception.


To make clear by removing impurities or solid matter, as by heating gently or filtering
Clarify butter.


The state or measure of being clear, either in appearance, thought or style; lucidity.
She dreamed with great clarity.
The brilliant clarity of his argument could not be faulted.


To become clear.


The ability to be easily understood.
Lack of clarity on the part of the teacher will cause confusion among the students.


(of liquids, such as wine or syrup) To make clear or bright by freeing from feculent matter.


Clearness; brightness; splendor.
Floods, in whose more than crystal clarity,Innumerable virgin graces row.


To make clear or easily understood; to explain in order to remove doubt or obscurity.


Free from obscurity and easy to understand; the comprehensibility of clear expression


(ergative) To grow or become clear or transparent; to become free from feculent impurities, as wine or other liquid under clarification.
Leave the wine for 24 hours and it will clarify.


The quality of clear water;
When she awoke the clarity was back in her eyes


(ergative) To grow clear or bright; to clear up.


(obsolete) To glorify.


To make clear or bright by freeing from feculent matter; to defecate; to fine; - said of liquids, as wine or sirup.


To make clear; to free from obscurities; to brighten or illuminate.
To clarify his reason, and to rectify his will.


To glorify.
Fadir, clarifie thi name.


To grow or become clear or transparent; to become free from feculent impurities, as wine or other liquid under clarification.


To grow clear or bright; to clear up.
Whosoever hath his mind fraught with many thoughts, his wits and understanding do clarify and break up in the discoursing with another.


Make clear and (more) comprehensible;
Clarify the mystery surrounding her death


Make clear by removing impurities or solids, as by heating;
Clarify the butter
Clarify beer


Can clarification be a synonym for clarify?

Clarification is a noun representing the action or process of clarifying, so it's related but not synonymous.

Is clarity only used in a figurative sense?

No, clarity can refer to both literal clearness, like in a liquid, and figurative clearness, like in an explanation.

What does clarity refer to?

Clarity is a noun referring to the quality of being clear and easy to understand.

Can you clarify by rephrasing?

Yes, rephrasing is a common method to clarify statements or instructions.

Is to clarify the same as to explain?

Clarifying often involves explaining, but it specifically aims at making things clear and resolving confusion or ambiguity.

Is clarity always related to visual clearness?

No, clarity can refer to clearness in any sensory perception or in understanding, not just visually.

Is clarify a verb?

Yes, clarify is a verb meaning to make something clear or understandable.

Can clarify refer to making liquids clear?

Yes, clarify can mean making a liquid clear by removing impurities.

Does clarity enhance learning?

Absolutely, clarity in presenting information significantly enhances understanding and learning.

Is clarity only used in positive contexts?

No, clarity can be used neutrally or positively to describe clearness in understanding, perception, or appearance.

Can clarity be measured?

In some contexts like gemology, clarity can be measured, but in others, it may be subjective.

Is clarity desirable in communication?

Yes, clarity is crucial in communication to avoid misunderstandings and convey messages effectively.

Can clarity be related to purity?

Yes, in some contexts, clarity can refer to the purity or clearness of a substance, like a liquid.

Is it necessary to clarify in teaching?

Yes, clarifying is often necessary in teaching to address misunderstandings and ensure understanding.

Can clarifying lead to confusion?

While the aim of clarifying is to remove confusion, poorly executed clarification can sometimes lead to more confusion.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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