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illuminate

[v. ih-loo-muh-neyt; adj., n. ih-loo-muh-nit, -neyt] /v. ɪˈlu məˌneɪt; adj., n. ɪˈlu mə nɪt, -ˌneɪt/
verb (used with object), illuminated, illuminating.
1.
to supply or brighten with light; light up.
2.
to make lucid or clear; throw light on (a subject).
3.
to decorate with lights, as in celebration.
4.
to enlighten, as with knowledge.
5.
to make resplendent or illustrious:
A smile illuminated her face.
6.
to decorate (a manuscript, book, etc.) with colors and gold or silver, as was often done in the Middle Ages.
verb (used without object), illuminated, illuminating.
7.
to display lights, as in celebration.
8.
to become illuminated.
adjective
9.
Archaic. illuminated.
10.
Obsolete, enlightened.
noun
11.
Archaic. a person who is or affects to be specially enlightened.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin illūminātus (past participle of illūmināre to light up, brighten). See illumine, -ate1
Related forms
illuminatingly, adverb
preilluminate, verb (used with object)
reilluminate, verb, reilluminated, reilluminating.
semi-illuminated, adjective
unilluminated, adjective
Synonyms
2. clarify, explain, elucidate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for illuminate
  • The arbor includes built-in light fixtures that illuminate the dining area and the fireplace.
  • Zoo staff monitored the egg each day, by weighing it and using a bright light to illuminate the egg's interior.
  • Ninety percent of the energy used to illuminate a regular bulb is spent on heat rather than light.
  • The staircase is in complete darkness and night-light candles were used to illuminate the scene.
  • One thing is clear: it's no time to sit in the monastery and continue to illuminate vellum scrolls.
  • In the rest, leaking fluid caused the brake warning light on the car's instrument panel to illuminate.
  • In the evening, small, low-voltage track lights illuminate the room with a rich caramel glow.
  • The atom of gas that still remained lighted did not illuminate a distance of three inches round the burner.
  • Artifacts also illuminate the group's potlatches, secret societies and open-sea whaling.
  • The new exhibit will illuminate some of the fascinating dynamics of their co-evolution.
British Dictionary definitions for illuminate

illuminate

verb (ɪˈluːmɪˌneɪt)
1.
(transitive) to throw light in or into; light up: to illuminate a room
2.
(transitive) to make easily understood; clarify
3.
to adorn, decorate, or be decorated with lights
4.
(transitive) to decorate (a letter, page, etc) by the application of colours, gold, or silver
5.
(intransitive) to become lighted up
adjective (ɪˈluːmɪnɪt; -ˌneɪt)
6.
(archaic) made clear or bright with light; illuminated
noun (ɪˈluːmɪnɪt; -ˌneɪt)
7.
a person who has or claims to have special enlightenment
Derived Forms
illuminative, adjective
illuminator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin illūmināre to light up, from lūmen light
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for illuminate
v.

c.1500, "to light up, shine on," a back-formation from illumination, or else from Latin illuminatus, past participle of illuminare (see illumination). Earlier was enlumyen (late 14c.) "decorate written material with gold, silver, bright colors," from Old French enluminer, from Late Latin inluminare; also illumine (late 14c.). Related: Illuminated; illuminating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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