il·​lu·​mi·​nat·​ing | \i-ˈlü-mə-ˌnā-tiŋ \

Definition of illuminating 

: providing insight, clarity, or understanding : highly informative an illuminating remark/discussion … much of the information is quite illuminating— Glenn Kenny

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Other Words from illuminating

illuminatingly adverb

Examples of illuminating in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Scenes from the girls’ childhood will be seen as well, with the story jumping back and forth in time, past memories illuminating themes of identity, the search for self-esteem and the deep, complex bonds among sisters. Glenn Whipp,, "Why it's a perfect time for Greta Gerwig's version of 'Little Women'," 5 July 2018 The Dances of Ed Mock: This illuminating documentary pays tribute to a San Francisco legend who helped change the dance world with his genre-defying performances. David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle, "Frameline offers movie feast during Pride Week," 14 June 2018 Extra air tanks and illuminating devices would be deployed along the route. USA TODAY, "An illustrated look at the Thai cave rescue," 3 July 2018 In this context, a study just published in Psychological Science, by Adelle Yang at the National University of Singapore and Oleg Urminsky at the University of Chicago, looks illuminating. The Economist, "A paradox at the heart of gift-giving," 28 June 2018 Part of their day included a trip to one of the island’s stunning caves, where both Kardashian and Bendjima took a dip in the illuminating waters. Dave Quinn,, "Bikini-Clad Kourtney Kardashian Has Mediterranean Makeout with Younes Bendjima While Swimming in Italy," 23 June 2018 Side characters, including dogs, get a lot of screen time — which is charming, if not always illuminating — while some plot moments rush by, particularly in Part 3. Margaret Lyons, New York Times, "Review: ‘A Very English Scandal’ Is Very Good. And Scandalous.," 28 June 2018 These talented writers — and many other writers and visual artists — help make Hartford magazine enticing, diverting, surprising and illuminating every month, including this one. Nancy Schoeffler,, "Editor's Note: Hot Stuff And Accolades," 22 June 2018 The novel’s plot is much the same: Set in London in 1945, a city still broken from the Blitz, Warlight is a lyrical journey into the past, illuminating, as its title implies, both the traumas and the possibilities of rebuilding a life after war. Andrew Lanham, The New Republic, "Michael Ondaatje’s Haunting Pasts," 8 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of illuminating

1644, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of illuminating was in 1644

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