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[ih-luhs-truh-tiv, il-uh-strey-tiv] /ɪˈlʌs trə tɪv, ˈɪl əˌstreɪ tɪv/
serving to illustrate; explanatory:
illustrative examples.
Origin of illustrative
1635-45; illustrate + -ive
Related forms
illustratively, adverb
nonillustrative, adjective
nonillustratively, adverb
overillustrative, adjective
overillustratively, adverb
self-illustrative, adjective
unillustrative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for illustrative
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This is, as was intended, a plate whose every part is illustrative of the interests of the owner, who was also its designer.

    American Book-Plates Charles Dexter Allen
  • A couple of tales shall suffice as illustrative of this superstition.

    Welsh Folk-Lore Elias Owen
  • Father Morris sometimes used his illustrative talent to very good purpose in the way of rebuke.

  • We spoke of Homer's similes as illustrative of the Ionic feelings about war.

    Short Studies on Great Subjects James Anthony Froude
  • Finally, the amorous habits of insects form a series of illustrative chapters.

  • We speak of the clergyman simply as illustrative of our idea in this matter.

    Hidden Treasures Harry A. Lewis
  • In fact, altogether this chapter must be accepted as illustrative and suggestive, but by no means as exhaustive.

    Fungi: Their Nature and Uses Mordecai Cubitt Cooke
  • We instance one of these occasions as illustrative of many others.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
Word Origin and History for illustrative

1640s, from illustrate + -ive.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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