The implicate order is a term coined by David Bohm. It refers to what he considered to be, very likely a ‘force’, underlying the existence (materialization) of everything in the physical world.
We are aware that the material world exists by virtue of relationships between things. Take, for example, a molecule of water. There is a formula which can be said to ‘govern’. Combine two atoms of hydrogen with one atom of oxygen (under particular conditions) and you will see a molecule of water (H2O). Consider not the ‘things’, hydrogen or oxygen, but rather the relationship between the things. Imbedded in the reality of the material world are such relationships between things. Bohm suggests that it is the relationship between things that ‘gives rise’ to the physical world, not the things alone.
The entire network of relationships between things is referred to by Bohm as the ‘implicate order’. The material things we know so well are referred to as the ‘explicate order’. In Bohmian terms; observable, measurable ‘things’ in the explicate order are entirely dependent upon the underlying relationships between things in the implicate order-for their very existence. Raymond Trevor Bradley has coined the term ‘in-forms’ to underscore the direct contribution of the implicate order to the emergence of the form of the explicate order. The implicate order is said to ‘in-form’, that is give rise to, the form of the physical things in the explicate order.