illustrate

verb il·lus·trate \ ˈi-lə-ˌstrāt also i-ˈlə- \
|Updated on: 21 Aug 2018

Definition of illustrate

illustrated; illustrating
1 a : to provide with visual features intended to explain or decorate
  • illustrate a book
b : to make clear by giving or by serving as an example or instance
c : to make clear : clarify
2 : to show clearly : demonstrate
3 obsolete
a : enlighten
b : to light up
4 a archaic : to make illustrious
b obsolete
(1) : to make bright
(2) : adorn
: to give an example or instance

illustrator

play \ˈi-lə-ˌstrā-tər also i-ˈlə-\ noun

Examples of illustrate in a Sentence

  1. He illustrated his lecture with stories of his own experiences in the field.

  2. Please give a few examples to illustrate your point.

  3. The results illustrate how important it is to wear your seatbelt.

  4. The students will write and illustrate their own stories.

Recent Examples of illustrate from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of illustrate

Latin illustratus, past participle of illustrare, from in- + lustrare to purify, make bright — more at luster


ILLUSTRATE Defined for English Language Learners

illustrate

Definition of illustrate for English Language Learners

  • : to give examples in order to make (something) easier to understand

  • : to be proof or evidence of (something)

  • : to explain or decorate a story, book, etc., with pictures


ILLUSTRATE Defined for Kids

illustrate

verb il·lus·trate \ ˈi-lə-ˌstrāt \

Definition of illustrate for Students

illustrated; illustrating
1 : to supply with pictures or diagrams meant to explain or decorate
  • illustrate a book
2 : to make clear by using examples
  • She illustrated her point with stories.
3 : to serve as an example
  • The results illustrate the need for planning.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up illustrate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

resembling the blue of the sky

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet-pasta-spelling-help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!