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[ih-loo-muh-ney-shuh n] /ɪˌlu məˈneɪ ʃən/
an act or instance of illuminating.
the fact or condition of being illuminated.
a decoration of lights, usually colored lights.
Sometimes, illuminations. an entertainment, display, or celebration using lights as a major feature or decoration.
intellectual or spiritual enlightenment.
Also called illuminance, intensity of illumination. Optics. the intensity of light falling at a given place on a lighted surface; the luminous flux incident per unit area, expressed in lumens per unit of area.
a supply of light:
a source of illumination.
decoration of a manuscript or book with a painted design in color, gold, etc.
a design used in such decoration.
Origin of illumination
1300-50; Middle English < Medieval Latin illūminātiōn- (stem of illūminātiō) spiritual enlightenment (Latin: illustriousness, glory) See illuminate, -ion
Related forms
illuminational, adjective
nonillumination, noun
preillumination, noun
reillumination, noun
5. knowledge, revelation, insight, wisdom. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for illumination
  • Candles offer light, which is different from illumination.
  • The gentle illumination makes place-names and information easy to read, and also makes it a great night-light.
  • Researchers claim the lighting system maximizes light distribution and provides more uniform illumination.
  • The light is coming from the side and is low enough to provide illumination beneath the hat.
  • His theory is a pure and elevated rationalism, though he holds that our reason needs illumination from the fuller light of faith.
  • Stars are coherent point-sources, so their light produces several phenomena seen with laser illumination.
  • Whatever its uses, this living light is the only illumination in the deep ocean world.
  • Moreover, the lamp could be used for rear-projection televisions as well as general illumination.
  • Today's city folk could never understand the full effects the moon's illumination had on us kids way back when.
  • These new forms of illumination are popular with consumers, manufacturers say, but some design-world purists are less impressed.
British Dictionary definitions for illumination


the act of illuminating or the state of being illuminated
a source of light
(often pl) (mainly Brit) a light or lights, esp coloured lights, used as decoration in streets, parks, etc
spiritual or intellectual enlightenment; insight or understanding
the act of making understood; clarification
decoration in colours, gold, or silver used on some manuscripts or printed works
(physics) another name (not in technical usage) for illuminance
Derived Forms
illuminational, adjective
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 illumination

late 14c., "spiritual enlightenment," from Latin illuminationem (nominative illuminatio), from past participle stem of illuminare "to throw into light, make bright, light up;" figuratively "to set off, illustrate," from assimilated form of in- "in, into" (see in- (2)) + lumen (genitive luminis) "light," related to lucere "to shine" (see light (n.)). Meaning "action of lighting" is from 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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