• (British) IPA: /ɪˈl(j)uːmɪn/

illumine (illumines, present participle illumining; past and past participle illumined)

  1. (transitive) To illuminate.
    • 1593, William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis,
      And as the bright sun glorifies the sky,
      So is her face illumined with her eye;
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book I, lines 22-26,[]
      […] what in me is dark
      Illumine, what is low raise and support;
      That, to the height of this great argument,
      I may assert Eternal Providence,
      And justify the ways of God to men.
    • 1789, Ann Ward Radcliffe, The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne, London: T. Hookham, Chapter 9, p. 185,
      The moon shone faintly by intervals, through broken clouds upon the waters, illumining the white foam which burst around, and enlightening the scene sufficiently to render it visible.
    • 1814 July, [Jane Austen], chapter VI, in Mansfield Park: A Novel. In Three Volumes, volume II, London: Printed for T[homas] Egerton, […], OCLC 39810224 ↗, page 133 ↗:
      Fanny’s attractions increased—increased two-fold—for the sensibility which beautified her complexion and illumined her countenance, was an attraction in itself.
    • 1890, H. L. Havell (translator), On the Sublime by Longinus (1st century CE), London: Macmillan, Part I, p. 3,
      Skill in invention, lucid arrangement and disposition of facts, are appreciated not by one passage, or by two, but gradually manifest themselves in the general structure of a work; but a sublime thought, if happily timed, illumines an entire subject with the vividness of a lightning-flash, and exhibits the whole power of the orator in a moment of time.
    • 2012, Melanie McDonagh, “Where have all the book illustrators gone?” The Independent, 20 January, 2012,
      […] the possibility that illustrations could actually illumine writing and draw out elements of a narrative doesn’t seem to count for much any more.
  2. (intransitive, rare) To light up.
    • 1918, Rebecca West, The Return of the Soldier, Virago 2014, p. 18:
      ‘Shell-shock.’ Our faces did not illumine so she dragged on lamely. ‘Anyway, he's not well.’

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