illumination

noun
il·​lu·​mi·​na·​tion | \ i-ˌlü-mə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce illumination (audio) \

Definition of illumination

1 : the action of illuminating or state of being illuminated: such as
a : spiritual or intellectual enlightenment
b(1) : a lighting up
(2) : decorative lighting or lighting effects
c : decoration by the art of illuminating
2 : the luminous flux per unit area on an intercepting surface at any given point
3 : one of the decorative features used in the art of illuminating or in decorative lighting

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Examples of illumination in a Sentence

When taking photographs indoors, use a flash for illumination. They traveled to the temple in search of spiritual illumination. an old manuscript with beautiful illuminations
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Recent Examples on the Web

During this lunation, the sun and moon occupy the same sign, so there is no nocturnal illumination. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What November's Aquarius Horoscope Means for You," 28 Oct. 2018 For a few minutes between the setting of the wintry sun and the rising of the fattened moon, that twilit orange was the only illumination. Rod Nordland, New York Times, "By Light of a Blood Moon, Life Returns to a Bombed-Out Syrian Landscape," 11 Feb. 2018 But mostly it’s concrete and electric illumination. Gabe Cohn, New York Times, "What’s on TV Tuesday: ‘It’s Suppertime!’ and ‘Facing Facts’," 5 June 2018 The Framed Circle Wall light, by Dutch designer Jacco Maris, stashes illumination in a steel frame. Kathryn O’shea-evans, WSJ, "Goodbye, Showy Chandeliers. Hello, Low-Key Lighting That Transforms Rooms," 25 Jan. 2019 There’s no nocturnal illumination during the new moon phase — the sky is completely dark — so this is an excellent time to direct your gaze inward. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What September's Taurus Horoscope Means for You," 30 Aug. 2018 On this moonless evening, the Cruiser’s headlights and Alan’s handheld searchlight are truly the only illumination in the enveloping black. Virginia Van Zanten, Vogue, "Why Botswana Should Top Your Travel List in 2019," 27 Dec. 2018 The truck plowed along slowly, its headlights often the only illumination as the team passed houses with water lapping at the bottom of their windowsills. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "Amid Florence’s Chaos, Rescue Team Keeps Going," 15 Sep. 2018 The Eiffel tower during Christmas illuminations on November 22, 2017 in Paris, France. Nina Sovich, WSJ, "Europe in Winter: 35 Reasons to Visit Off-Season," 21 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'illumination.' 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 illumination

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for illumination

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for illumination

The first known use of illumination was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for illumination

illumination

noun

English Language Learners Definition of illumination

: light that comes into a room, that shines on something, etc.
formal : knowledge or understanding
: a gold or colored decoration in an old book

illumination

noun
il·​lu·​mi·​na·​tion | \ i-ˌlü-mə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce illumination (audio) \

Kids Definition of illumination

: the action of lighting something : the state of being lighted

illumination

noun
il·​lu·​mi·​na·​tion | \ il-ˌü-mə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce illumination (audio) \

Medical Definition of illumination

1 : the action of supplying or brightening with light or the resulting state
2 : the luminous flux per unit area on an intercepting surface at any given point

called also illuminance

Other Words from illumination

illuminate \ il-​ˈü-​mə-​ˌnāt How to pronounce illuminate (audio) \ transitive verb illuminated; illuminating

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Comments on illumination

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