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

Definition of illustration

  1. 1a :  the action of illustrating :  the condition of being illustratedb archaic :  the action of making illustrious or honored or distinguished

  2. 2 :  something that serves to illustrate: such asa :  an example or instance that helps make something clearb :  a picture or diagram that helps make something clear or attractive


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

Examples of illustration in a sentence

  1. The illustration on page 30 shows the parts of an engine.

  2. a book with many photographs and illustrations

  3. The illustrations that he provided in his speech were very effective.

  4. They selected photographs to use for the illustration of the book.

  5. Illustration is the key to good communication.

14th Century

First Known Use of illustration

14th century

Synonym Discussion of 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.

ILLUSTRATION Defined for Kids


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

Definition of illustration for Students

  1. 1 :  a picture or diagram that explains or decorates The dictionary has color illustrations.

  2. 2 :  an example or instance used to make something clear The speech included illustrations of his successes.

  3. 3 :  the action of illustrating :  the condition of being illustrated He finished the illustration of the book.

Seen and Heard

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


to criticize severely

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