il·​lus·​tra·​tive | \ i-ˈlə-strə-tiv How to pronounce illustrative (audio) also ˈi-lə-ˌstrā- How to pronounce illustrative (audio) \

Definition of illustrative

: serving, tending, or designed to illustrate illustrative examples art that is illustrative of provincial life

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Other Words from illustrative

illustratively adverb

Examples of illustrative in a Sentence

an illustrative analogy in which the relationship between God and humanity is likened to that between a shepherd and his flock

Recent Examples on the Web

In an illustrative moment, Trump didn’t have a good response for that question either. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "White House’s new press rules will make it harder for reporters to hold Trump accountable," 20 Nov. 2018 The death of a 21-year-old man, outlined in medical examiner reports and court records, is especially illustrative. John Keilman,, "Giving addicted inmates opioid meds behind bars can reduce overdose deaths. Why don't more jails use them?," 6 July 2018 Three versions are here, alongside a similar, very illustrative engraving by Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio. Christopher Knight,, "Out of the shadows and into the light: 'Chiaroscuro Woodcut' is a sleeper hit at LACMA," 5 July 2018 Pieces of that figure were illustrative, something that was not made crystal clear at the time. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "No more doubts: Two independent studies confirm LIGO’s Nobel discovery," 16 Dec. 2018 And that’s just one crazy but illustrative example. Peter Kafka, Recode, "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey talked to NYU’s Jay Rosen for an hour, on the record. Read and listen to the full interview here.," 14 Sep. 2018 That pitch during Renfroe’s at-bat in the ninth inning Sunday, which ended in a strikeout, was wholly illustrative of one of the issues with the Padres offense this season. Kevin Acee,, "Padres try to find power balance," 9 July 2018 The fact that this has been the World Cup of the set piece, penalty kick and own goal is illustrative. Brian Straus,, "The Factors and Figures Behind Europe's World Cup Dominance Trend," 8 July 2018 The case of Indian journalist Rana Ayyub is illustrative. Ruby Mellen, Washington Post, "The story must be told.," 28 June 2018

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

1643, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for illustrative

The first known use of illustrative was in 1643

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More Definitions for illustrative



English Language Learners Definition of illustrative

: used to illustrate or explain something
: serving as an example of something


il·​lus·​tra·​tive | \ i-ˈlə-strə-tiv How to pronounce illustrative (audio) \

Kids Definition of illustrative

: serving as an example an illustrative story

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Comments on illustrative

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
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