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  • IPA(key): /ˈɪləstɹeɪt/
  • (file)


illustrate (third-person singular simple present illustrates, present participle illustrating, simple past and past participle illustrated)

  1. (obsolete) To shed light upon; to illuminate.
    • Were the Moon smooth, as a looking glass, a very small part would be seen by any particular eye to be illustrated by the Sun.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Chapman
      Here, when the moon illustrates all the sky.
  2. To clarify something by giving, or serving as, an example or a comparison.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      To prove him, and illustrate his high worth.
    • 2012 September 7, Phil McNulty, “Moldova 0-5 England”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      England were graphically illustrating the huge gulf in class between the sides and it was no surprise when Lampard added the second just before the half hour. Steven Gerrard found his Liverpool team-mate Glen Johnson and Lampard arrived in the area with perfect timing to glide a header beyond Namasco.
    • We illustrate our definitions by including quotations or simple examples.
  3. To provide a book or other publication with pictures, diagrams or other explanatory or decorative features.
    • The economics textbook was illustrated with many graphs.
  4. (obsolete) To give renown or honour to; to make illustrious; to glorify.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      Matter to me of glory, whom their hate / Illustrates.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.




illustrate f pl

  1. feminine plural of illustrato



  1. second-person plural present of illustrare
  2. second-person plural imperative of illustrare
  3. feminine plural past participle of illustrare




  1. vocative masculine singular of illūstrātus