illustrate

verb
il·​lus·​trate | \ ˈi-lə-ˌstrāt How to pronounce illustrate (audio) also i-ˈlə- \
illustrated; illustrating

Definition of illustrate

transitive verb

1a : 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
4a archaic : to make illustrious
b obsolete
(1) : to make bright
(2) : adorn

intransitive verb

: to give an example or instance

Other Words from illustrate

illustrator \ ˈi-​lə-​ˌstrā-​tər How to pronounce illustrate (audio) also  i-​ˈlə-​ \ noun

Synonyms for illustrate

Synonyms

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Examples of illustrate in a Sentence

He illustrated his lecture with stories of his own experiences in the field. Please give a few examples to illustrate your point. The results illustrate how important it is to wear your seatbelt. The students will write and illustrate their own stories.
Recent Examples on the Web The calls help illustrate pandemonium and fear among shoppers as the shooting began. Sarah Nelson, The Indianapolis Star, 20 July 2022 The top three posters from each district will help illustrate the 2023 North County water agencies calendars. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 June 2022 All those numbers help illustrate the song’s reach. Gary Trust, Billboard, 15 June 2022 This research, while simplistic, might help to illustrate basic concepts better than traditional approaches. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, 1 May 2022 The results posted Thursday for the final three months of 2021 help illustrate why Apple is looking even stronger at the tail end of the pandemic than when the crisis began two years ago. Michael Liedtke, USA TODAY, 29 Jan. 2022 The results posted Thursday for the final three months of 2021 help illustrate why Apple is looking even stronger at the tail end of the pandemic than when the crisis began two years ago. CBS News, 28 Jan. 2022 The results posted Thursday for the final three months of 2021 help illustrate why Apple is looking even stronger at the tail end of the pandemic than when the crisis began two years ago. Michael Liedtke, ajc, 27 Jan. 2022 Their perspectives help illustrate the tricky position that millions of parents are in. Eric Levenson And Christina Zdanowicz, CNN, 9 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of illustrate

1526, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

History and Etymology for illustrate

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

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Time Traveler for illustrate

Time Traveler

The first known use of illustrate was in 1526

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Dictionary Entries Near illustrate

illustratable

illustrate

illustration

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Statistics for illustrate

Last Updated

1 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Illustrate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/illustrate. Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for illustrate

illustrate

verb
il·​lus·​trate | \ ˈi-lə-ˌstrāt How to pronounce illustrate (audio) \
illustrated; illustrating

Kids Definition of illustrate

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on illustrate

Nglish: Translation of illustrate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of illustrate for Arabic Speakers

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