illustration

noun
il·​lus·​tra·​tion | \ ˌi-lə-ˈstrā-shən also i-ˌlə- \

Definition of illustration 

1a : the action of illustrating : the condition of being illustrated
b archaic : the action of making illustrious or honored or distinguished
2 : something that serves to illustrate: such as
a : an example or instance that helps make something clear
b : a picture or diagram that helps make something clear or attractive

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Other Words from illustration

illustrational \ ˌi-​lə-​ˈstrā-​shnəl , -​shə-​nᵊl also  i-​ˌlə-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for illustration

Synonyms

diagram, figure, graphic, plate, visual

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Choose the Right Synonym for illustration

instance, case, illustration, example, sample, specimen mean something that exhibits distinguishing characteristics in its category. instance applies to any individual person, act, or thing that may be offered to illustrate or explain. an instance of history repeating itself case is used to direct attention to a real or assumed occurrence or situation that is to be considered, studied, or dealt with. a case of mistaken identity illustration applies to an instance offered as a means of clarifying or illuminating a general statement. a telling illustration of Murphy's Law example applies to a typical, representative, or illustrative instance or case. a typical example of bureaucratic waste sample implies a part or unit taken at random from a larger whole and so presumed to be typical of its qualities. show us a sample of your work specimen applies to any example or sample whether representative or merely existent and available. one of the finest specimens of the jeweler's art

Examples of illustration in a Sentence

The illustration on page 30 shows the parts of an engine. a book with many photographs and illustrations The illustrations that he provided in his speech were very effective. They selected photographs to use for the illustration of the book. Illustration is the key to good communication.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In this edition, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Christine Darden come to life on the page through bright illustrations and creative facial expressions that young children certainly can empathize with. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Without question, these are 2018’s best space books for kids," 29 Dec. 2018 Photo illustration: Javier Zarracina/Vox Jeff Sessions has resigned as President Trump’s Attorney General, after months of harassment. Dara Lind, Vox, "Jeff Sessions gave Trump the immigration crackdown he wanted," 7 Nov. 2018 Her cookbook famously eschews a few of the genre's conventions (illustrations are used instead of pictures throughout, for example) while still helping the reader achieve impeccable dishes. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Samin Nosrat's Beloved Cookbook Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat Is Now a Travel Food Show on Netflix," 17 Oct. 2018 Main photo illustration: Hank Walker/ The Life Picture Collection/ Getty Images. Shaun Assael, Glamour, "The Secret Fight to Save Confederate Monuments," 16 Aug. 2018 Store leftovers in an airtight container, chilled, for up to 1 day. Reprinted with permission from Feast by Firelight, text and illustrations copyright © 2018 by Emma Frisch. Blake Bakkila, Health.com, "3 Easy Summer Campfire Recipes Your Entire Family Will Enjoy," 22 June 2018 Darling's illustration, created with graphite, colored pencil and printmaking and digital techniques, was featured in the publication's Spring 2017 issue. Brittany Nader, cleveland.com, "Kent State professor, NEOMED Ignite magazine win illustration competition," 10 Jan. 2018 Nudity in politics, sculptures, and illustrations are likewise allowed. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Tumblr porn vanishes today," 17 Dec. 2018 Wordless picture books captivate imaginations and rely on pitch-perfect illustrations to great effect. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 17 best kids’ books about design and cities," 12 Dec. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

5 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for illustration

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

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More Definitions for illustration

illustration

noun
il·​lus·​tra·​tion | \ ˌi-lə-ˈstrā-shən \

Kids Definition of illustration

1 : a picture or diagram that explains or decorates The dictionary has color illustrations.
2 : an example or instance used to make something clear The speech included illustrations of his successes.
3 : the action of illustrating : the condition of being illustrated He finished the illustration of the book.

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Comments on illustration

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involving abstract or general statements

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