A house illuminated at night.
- When you turn on a light, this is an example of a situation where you illuminate a room.
- When you decorate your house for Christmas, this is an example of a situation where you illuminate a house.
- When you give a simple explanation to help someone understand an issue, this is an example of a situation where the explanation illuminates the issue.
- to give light to; light up
- to brighten; animate
- to make clear; explain; elucidate
- to inform; instruct; enlighten
- to make illustrious, glorious, or famous
- to decorate with lights
- to decorate (an initial letter or word) with designs, tracings, etc. of gold, silver, or bright colors
- to decorate (a manuscript, page border, etc.) with such initial letters, miniature pictures, etc.
Origin of illuminate; from Classical Latin illuminatus, past participle of illuminare, to light up ; from in-, in + luminare, to light ; from lumen (gen. luminis), a light ; from Indo-European an unverified form leuksmen ; from base an unverified form leuk-: see illustrate
- made bright with light
- enlightened in mind or spirit
transitive verbil·lu·mi·nat·ed, il·lu·mi·nat·ing, il·lu·mi·nates
- To provide or brighten with light.
- To decorate or hang with lights.
- a. To make understandable; clarify: “Cleverly made attacks can &ellipsis; serve to illuminate important differences between candidates” (New Republic).b. To enlighten intellectually or spiritually; enable to understand: “I greatly misdoubt the accuracy of this &ellipsis; Can you illuminate me?” (Charles Darwin).
- To adorn (a page of a book, for example) with ornamental designs, images, or lettering in brilliant colors or precious metals.
- To expose to or reveal by radiation.
Origin of illuminateMiddle English illuminaten, from Latin ill&umacron;minare, ill&umacron;minat- : in-, in; see in–2 + l&umacron;minare, to light up (from l&umacron;men, l&umacron;min-, light; see leuk- in Indo-European roots).
(third-person singular simple present illuminates, present participle illuminating, simple past and past participle illuminated)
- Someone thought to have an unusual degree of enlightenment.
(comparative more illuminate, superlative most illuminate)
- (obsolete) enlightened