1

illuminate

adjective il·lu·mi·nate \ i-ˈlü-mə-nət \

Definition of illuminate

1 archaic :brightened with light
2 archaic :intellectually or spiritually enlightened

First Known Use of illuminate

15th century


2

illuminate

verb il·lu·mi·nate \ i-ˈlü-mə-ˌnāt \

Definition of illuminate

illuminated; illuminating
transitive verb
1 a :to enlighten spiritually or intellectually
b (1) :to supply or brighten with light
(2) :to make luminous or shining
c archaic :to set alight
d :to subject to radiation
2 a :to make clear :elucidate
b :to bring to the fore :highlight
  • a crisis can illuminate how interdependent we all are
3 :to make illustrious or resplendent
4 :to decorate (something, such as a manuscript) with gold or silver or brilliant colors or with often elaborate designs or miniature pictures

illuminator

play \i-ˈlü-mə-ˌnā-tər\ noun

Examples of illuminate in a Sentence

  1. the part of the moon illuminated by the sun

  2. A university study has illuminated the problem.

Recent Examples of illuminate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'illuminate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of illuminate

Middle English, from Latin illuminatus, past participle of illuminare, from in- + luminare to light up, from lumin-, lumen light — more at luminary


3

illuminate

noun il·lu·mi·nate \ i-ˈlü-mə-nət \

Definition of illuminate

archaic
:one having or claiming unusual enlightenment

First Known Use of illuminate

1600


ILLUMINATE Defined for English Language Learners

illuminate

verb

Definition of illuminate for English Language Learners

  • : to supply (something) with light : to shine light on (something)

  • : to make (something) clear and easier to understand


ILLUMINATE Defined for Kids

illuminate

verb il·lu·mi·nate \ i-ˈlü-mə-ˌnāt \

Definition of illuminate for Students

illuminated; illuminating
1 :to supply with light :light up
  • He clutched Rose as a dazzling blast illuminated the lobby…
  • —Brian Selznick, Wonderstruck
2 :to make clear :explain His speech illuminated the subject.


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