Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To give light to; illuminate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To illuminate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To illuminate; to light up; to adorn.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To illuminate; light up; throw light upon, literally or figuratively.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make lighter or brighter

Etymologies

Middle English illuminen, from Old French illuminer, from Latin illūmināre, to illuminate; see illuminate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • SVILUPPO: According to the Italian wires, the Holy See's message -- as communicated by Lombardi -- included the prayer that God might "illumine" the president-elect, that he might be able "to respond to the expectations and the hopes placed in him, effectively serving justice and right, seeking new paths to promote peace in the world, supporting the growth and dignity of peoples in respect to their human values and spiritual essence."

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  • Lacking gloriousness in themselves, they deny gloriousness to all mankind; too cowardly for whimsy and derring-do, they assert whimsy and derring-do ceased at the very latest no later than the middle ages; flickering little tapers themselves, their feeble eyes are dazzled to unseeingness of the flaming conflagrations of other souls that illumine their skies.

    THE KANAKA SURF

  • If and when the external world does impinge on the poet's private thought processes, it is only to illumine some internal dilemma of the worrying poet, to strengthen or invigorate some pitiful struggle of his.

    Anis Shivani: Philip Levine and Other Mediocrities: What it Takes to Ascend to the Poet Laureateship

  • I'd like for readers to tell me, if they trusted me enough to be that honest with me, how the life of Marie Antoinette might illumine life as we live it.

    Sena Jeter Naslund - An interview with author

  • We hope that looking at Ugly laws, anti-Okie laws, and Jim Crow laws will give us the distance and perspective we need to illumine our own blind spots and democratic failings.

    Paul Boden: The Quality of Whose Life? Part 2

  • As Chris Williamson sang, "Open my eyes, that I may see, Spirit of Life, illumine me; Open my eyes, Spirit Divine."

    Dr. Cara Barker: What the Chilean Miners Can Teach Us About Hope

  • Who would have thought, for instance, that Hosea's domestic life would illumine his understanding of the love of God; or that Amos, a keeper of sycamore trees in the village of Tekoa, would be the one to redefine God as justice?

    John Shelby Spong: Why We Must Reclaim The Bible From Fundamentalists

  • Each year when I ask high schools around the country to fill out the form for my annual America's Best High Schools list, I try to add a question to illumine an issue on which there is little research.

    High schoolers barred from college-level courses

  • Hoping to arrive on something less short-lived, something not so self-centered, something greater than me, I'm hoping this year to better illumine my path with age-old Hindu wisdom.

    Suhag A. Shukla, Esq.: Hindu Niyamas: Ancient Resolutions for New Years

  • I wanted this piece to resonate immediately and deeply into the core of the listener, to illumine through sound.

    The Painting that Inspired Another Masterpiece

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Comments

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  • Yes, except it's not archaic. It's rather neater than illuminate, dontcha think?

    June 27, 2008

  • Is this an archaic form of illuminate?

    June 27, 2008

  • A distant street-light illumined a pair,
    identified by Don as Sue's parents...

    - Peter Reading, 10 x 10 x 10, from Nothing for Anyone, 1977

    June 26, 2008