Definition of illustrate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɪləstreɪt/


1 [with object] Provide (a book, newspaper, etc.) with pictures: the guide is illustrated with full-colour photographs
More example sentences
  • To illustrate the Book of Ruth, Merian chose to represent Boaz and Ruth at the threshing floor.
  • Photographic picture books, illustrating New York and other subjects, proliferated; a number of these featured the work of the new documentary photographers.
  • John Hodgkiss edited the diverse selection of reportage and portrait photographs illustrating the book.
decorate, adorn, ornament, embellish, accompany;
add pictures/drawings/sketches to, provide artwork for
with illustrations, with pictures, with drawings, with sketches, pictorial;
decorated, adorned, ornamented, embellished
1.1Explain or make (something) clear by using examples, charts, pictures, etc. the results are illustrated in Figure 7
More example sentences
  • When Touch of Evil was first announced, a documentary explaining and illustrating the changes that resulted from Welles' memo was to have been included with the DVD.
  • One or two things seem to me underplayed (the great baroque invention of the Duet, for example), but thought has gone into explaining and illustrating most genres.
  • So let's look at another example as we explain and illustrate the general method.
explain, elucidate, clarify, make clear, make plain, demonstrate, point up, show, bring home, emphasize, interpret;
describe, sum up, summarize, gloss
informal get across, get over
2Serve as an example of: the World Cup illustrated what high standards our players must achieve
More example sentences
  • One example will serve to illustrate how comprehensive and penetrating his discernment is.
  • Three examples can serve to illustrate how a choice of ruler was made and the thinking behind the resources made available to him.
  • Clearly, this is a grossly simplified example but it serves to illustrate how such a solution is very open to sabotage.
exemplify, show, demonstrate, display, instance, encapsulate, represent
rare instantiate


Early 16th century (in the sense 'illuminate, shed light on'): from Latin illustrat- 'lit up', from the verb illustrare, from in- 'upon' + lustrare 'illuminate'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: il¦lus|trate

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