9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[il-uh-strey-shuh n] /ˌɪl əˈstreɪ ʃən/
something that illustrates, as a picture in a book or magazine.
a comparison or an example intended for explanation or corroboration.
the act or process of illuminating.
the act of clarifying or explaining; elucidation.
Archaic. illustriousness; distinction.
Origin of illustration
1325-75; Middle English < Latin illustrātiōn- (stem of illustrātiō) the act of making vivid, illustrating. See illustrate, -ion
Related forms
nonillustration, noun
overillustration, noun
preillustration, noun
reillustration, noun
superillustration, noun
2. explication. See case1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for illustration
  • In illustration b, the image is even more compelling.
  • Watch a video illustration of what scientists can learn from footprints.
  • The ability to also scan an illustration makes this information-gathering and decision-making process much more efficient.
  • The fact that these two asked what their final grade was is an illustration of this.
  • The text suggests the dog, but the illustration suggests the observer.
  • Memories are stored in a region of the brain called the hippocampus, shown in red in this computer illustration.
  • As a graphic arts center, they also thought a children's book illustration show around the holidays was timely.
  • To me that was a dramatic illustration of the importance of role models.
  • In this way scientific illustration closely mirrors the scientific process itself.
  • The lowdown on low-price computer illustration programs.
British Dictionary definitions for illustration


pictorial matter used to explain or decorate a text
an example or demonstration: an illustration of his ability
the act of illustrating or the state of being illustrated
Derived Forms
illustrational, 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 illustration

c.1400, "a shining;" early 15c., "a manifestation;" mid-15c., "a spiritual illumination," from Old French illustration "apparition, appearance," and directly from Latin illustrationem (nominative illustratio) "vivid representation" (in writing), literally "an enlightening," from past participle stem of illustrare "light up, make light, illuminate;" figuratively "make clear, disclose, explain; adorn, render distinguished," from assimilated form of in- "in" (see in- (2)) + lustrare "make bright, illuminate," related to lucere "shine," lux "light" (see light (n.)). Mental sense of "act of making clear in the mind" is from 1580s. Meaning "an illustrative picture" is from 1816.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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