illumination

Illumination is light. Kids up past their bedtimes have been known to read entire books under their covers using only the illumination from a flashlight.

Use the noun illumination to talk about light, like the illumination of the moon on the surface of a lake. Illumination can also refer to an understanding or a spiritual awareness, like when a mystery of your faith suddenly makes sense to you. The Latin root is illuminationem, "throw into light" — you can picture the light bulb over a person's head in a cartoon to remember the various meaning of illumination.

Primary Meanings of illumination

1.
n
the luminous flux incident on a unit area
2.
n
an interpretation that removes obstacles to understanding
Full Definitions of illumination
1

n the luminous flux incident on a unit area

Synonyms:
illuminance
Type of:
brightness, brightness level, light, luminance, luminosity, luminousness
the quality of being luminous; emitting or reflecting light

n the degree of visibility of your environment

Types:
show 6 types...
hide 6 types...
light, lighting
having abundant light or illumination
dark, darkness
absence of light or illumination
night
darkness
black, blackness, lightlessness, pitch blackness, total darkness
total absence of light
blackout, brownout, dimout
darkness resulting from the extinction of lights (as in a city invisible to enemy aircraft)
semidarkness
partial darkness
Type of:
state
the way something is with respect to its main attributes
2

n an interpretation that removes obstacles to understanding

Synonyms:
clarification, elucidation
Types:
disambiguation
clarification that follows from the removal of ambiguity
lexical disambiguation
disambiguation of the sense of a polysemantic word
Type of:
interpretation
an explanation that results from interpreting something

n painting or drawing included in a book (especially in illuminated medieval manuscripts)

Synonyms:
miniature
Type of:
painting, picture
graphic art consisting of an artistic composition made by applying paints to a surface

n a condition of spiritual awareness; divine illumination

Synonyms:
light
Type of:
condition, status
a state at a particular time

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.