Definition of illustration in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌiləˈstrāSH(ə)n/


1A picture illustrating a book, newspaper, etc. an illustration of a yacht
More example sentences
  • Among the many illustrations in this new book are previously unpublished photographs by Warhol.
  • Wentzloff has been drawing children's book illustrations since she was only a child.
  • It was Mr. Kalliganur who did the cover design and also a few illustrations for all these books.
picture, drawing, sketch, figure, image, plate, print, artwork;
visual aid
1.1An example serving to clarify or prove something: this accident is a graphic illustration of the disaster that’s waiting to happen
More example sentences
  • What more graphic illustration of that very point can there be than their reaction to Moore's article.
  • He then gives a colourful and graphic illustration of the point.
  • David O. Russell used a similar effect in Three Kings as a graphic and terrifying illustration of what a gunshot can do.
1.2The action or fact of illustrating something, either pictorially or by exemplification: by way of illustration, I refer to the following case
More example sentences
  • This is a powerful tool, and the author's explanation and illustration should help players apply it to their own study.
  • By the close integration of text, commentary, and illustration, he gave the renaissance world a definitive anatomical thesis.
  • We focus on legislation, explanation, interpretation and illustration in the form of examples.
exemplification, demonstration, showing;
example, typical case, case in point, object lesson, analogy



Pronunciation: /-SHənl/
Example sentences
  • The only exceptions to this rule are a baseball card and a few purely illustrational reproductions of newspaper clippings or book covers.
  • Schad's graphic work, often anecdotal and illustrational, is evocative of George Grosz but without the muscle.
  • More illustrational than painterly in feel, they are still further evidence of Joyce's playful sensibility.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'illumination; spiritual or intellectual enlightenment'): via Old French from Latin illustratio(n-), from the verb illustrare (see illustrate).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: il·lus·tra·tion

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