Why was clemency trending last week?


[il-uh-streyt, ih-luhs-treyt] /ˈɪl əˌstreɪt, ɪˈlʌs treɪt/
verb (used with object), illustrated, illustrating.
to furnish (a book, magazine, etc.) with drawings, pictures, or other artwork intended for explanation, elucidation, or adornment.
to make clear or intelligible, as by examples or analogies; exemplify.
Archaic. to enlighten.
verb (used without object), illustrated, illustrating.
to clarify one's words, writings, etc., with examples:
To prevent misunderstandings, let me illustrate.
Origin of illustrate
1520-30; < Latin illustrātus past participle of illustrāre to illuminate, make clear, give glory to. See il-1, luster1, -ate1
Related forms
illustratable, adjective
overillustrate, verb (used with object), overillustrated, overillustrating.
preillustrate, verb (used with object), preillustrated, preillustrating.
reillustrate, verb (used with object), reillustrated, reillustrating.
superillustrate, verb (used with object), superillustrated, superillustrating. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for illustrate
  • The drawing should illustrate the creatures' adaptations and names.
  • The point is that jokes can illustrate humor but not explain it.
  • Markets may not follow predictable, cyclical patterns, but the photographs chosen to illustrate market trends sure do.
  • The game is obviously intended to illustrate the problems a central bank faces.
  • Give students blank world outline maps and ask them to illustrate the maps with things they have learned about the polar regions.
  • But they illustrate internal motivation that could confound some ideas in economics.
  • As a group, these selections visually illustrate the artists' enunciations of their diverse and complex experiences.
  • After marrying, he continued to write humor and illustrate.
  • They will choose which stories to tell to illustrate their points.
  • But he also uses it to illustrate how the vividness of memory is itself a wondrous thing.
British Dictionary definitions for illustrate


to clarify or explain by use of examples, analogy, etc
(transitive) to be an example or demonstration of
(transitive) to explain or decorate (a book, text, etc) with pictures
(transitive) an archaic word for enlighten
Derived Forms
illustratable, adjective
illustrative, adjective
illustratively, adverb
illustrator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin illustrāre to make light, explain, from lustrāre to purify, brighten; see lustrum
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 illustrate

1520s, "light up, shed light on;" 1610s, "educate by means of examples," back-formation from illustration, and in some cases from Latin illustratus, past participle of illustrare (see illustration). Sense of "provide pictures to explain or decorate" is 1630s. Related: Illustrated; illustrating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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