• IPA: /ɪlˈl(j)umɪneɪt/, /ɪlˈl(j)uməneɪt/ (verb)
  • IPA: /ɪlˈl(j)umɪnət/ (noun)

illuminate (illuminates, present participle illuminating; past and past participle illuminated)

  1. (transitive) To shine light on something.
  2. (transitive) To decorate something with lights.
  3. (transitive, figurative) To clarify or make something understandable.
  4. (transitive) To decorate the page of a manuscript book with ornamental designs.
  5. (transitive, figurative) To make spectacular.
  6. (intransitive) To glow; to light up.
    • 1994, Sylvia Carlson, ‎Verne Carlson, Professional Cameraman's Handbook ISBN 024080080X, page 494:
      Red diode in button illuminates when camera runs at speed set in five-digit speed selector.
    • 2011/2012, "Spectrum", written by Florence Welch and Paul Epworth, performed by Florence and the Machine, released on the album Ceremonials (2011):
      Say my name / and every color illuminates. / We are shining / […]
  7. (intransitive) To be exposed to light.
  8. (transitive, military) To direct a radar beam toward.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun

illuminate (plural illuminates)

  1. Someone thought to have an unusual degree of enlightenment.


  1. (obsolete) enlightened

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