illumination

noun

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

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web London's Oxford Street shopping district hopes to cut energy consumption by two-thirds by limiting the illumination of its lights to 3-11 p.m. and installing LED bulbs. Colleen Barry, ajc, 26 Nov. 2022 London’s Oxford Street shopping district hopes to cut energy consumption by two-thirds by limiting the illumination of its lights to 3-11 p.m. and installing LED bulbs. Colleen Barry, BostonGlobe.com, 26 Nov. 2022 Durant’s book itself, twenty years in the making, bears the illumination of fanatical research and passionate empathy for—practically an inhabiting of—Deren’s inner world. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 16 Nov. 2022 Sixty LEDs provide superior illumination in either Cool White or Warm Yellow, and the battery can last up to eight hours on one charge. Jon Langston, Car and Driver, 12 Nov. 2022 This early episode of homegrown Islamist terrorism serves as the fulcrum for Mufti’s illumination of the importance of Black Muslim groups in this country from the Fifties onward. Sophie Lewis, Harper’s Magazine , 26 Oct. 2022 Positioned around the mirror and sink area of your bathroom, vanity lighting provides illumination for important grooming tasks, from applying makeup to shaving. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 26 Oct. 2022 Paul Debevec, a head of research at Netflix, is hoping for LED panels with better light sources, including broader illumination and dynamic range, for use in LED stages. Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Oct. 2022 The extravagant illumination of the Eiffel Tower came into question last month, with city hall proposing its lights only stay on until 11:45 p.m. instead of 1 a.m. as part of a plan to cut energy use by 10%. Alice Hearing, Fortune, 19 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near illumination

Cite this Entry

“Illumination.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/illumination. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

illumination

noun

il·​lu·​mi·​na·​tion il-ˌü-mə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce illumination (audio)
1
a
: the action of illuminating or state of being illuminated
b
: amount of light
2
: gold or colored decoration in a manuscript

Medical Definition

illumination

noun

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

illuminate transitive verb
illuminated; illuminating

More from Merriam-Webster on illumination

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