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Definition of "illustrate" []

  • To clarify, as by use of examples or comparisons: The editor illustrated the definition with an example sentence. (verb-transitive)
  • To clarify by serving as an example or comparison: The example sentence illustrated the meaning of the word. (verb-transitive)
  • To provide (a publication) with explanatory or decorative features: illustrated the book with colorful drawings. (verb-transitive)
  • Obsolete To illuminate. (verb-transitive)
  • To present a clarification, example, or explanation. (verb-intransitive)
  • To clarify or explain by use of examples, analogy, etc (verb)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • To be an example or demonstration of (verb)
  • To explain or decorate (a book, text, etc) with pictures (verb)

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Use "illustrate" in a sentence
  • "The book and its title illustrate both the ridiculous and pleasurable nature of words."
  • "I look for synonyms, find none, but along the way I decide that "illustrate" is a better word than "way," and change that."
  • "Here's a chart to illustrate from the Afghan NGO Safety Office, showing the level of insurgent-initiated violence:"