• IPA: /ˈɪləstɹeɪt/

illustrate (illustrates, present participle illustrating; past and past participle illustrated)

  1. (obsolete) To shed light upon.
    Synonyms: illuminate, Thesaurus:illuminate
    • Here, when the moon illustrates all the sky.
  2. (figurative) To clarify something by giving, or serving as, an example or a comparison.
    • 1671, John Milton, “Book the First”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: Printed by J. M[acock] for John Starkey […], OCLC 228732398 ↗:
      To prove him, and illustrate his high worth.
    We illustrate our definitions by including quotations or simple examples.
  3. To provide a book or other publication with pictures, diagrams or other explanatory or decorative features.
    The economics textbook was illustrated with many graphs.
  4. (obsolete) To give renown or honour to; to make illustrious.
    Synonyms: glorify
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 5”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      Matter to me of glory, whom their hate / Illustrates.
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