Other forms: illustrated; illustrates; illustrating

To illustrate is to make something more clear or visible. Children's books are illustrated with pictures. An example can illustrate an abstract idea.

The word illustrate comes from the Latin illustrare 'to light up or enlighten.' Pictures in a book enlighten the reader, and a good example can enlighten someone on a complex topic. Another use: The government's actions illustrate how out of touch it is with the people. The history of this word illustrates how language changes over time, and how knowing the original meaning can help you understand the word in a deeper way.

Definitions of illustrate
  1. verb
    depict with an illustration
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    type of:
    depict, picture, render, show
    show in, or as in, a picture
  2. verb
    supply with illustrations
    illustrate a book with drawings”
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    type of:
    adorn, beautify, decorate, embellish, grace, ornament
    make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc.
  3. verb
    clarify by giving an example of
    synonyms: exemplify, instance
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    type of:
    dilate, elaborate, enlarge, expand, expatiate, exposit, expound, flesh out, lucubrate
    add details, as to an account or idea; clarify the meaning of and discourse in a learned way, usually in writing




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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘illustrate'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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