Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To give light to; illuminate.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To illuminate.

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

  • verb make lighter or brighter

Etymologies

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

[Middle English illuminen, from Old French illuminer, from Latin illūmināre, to illuminate; see illuminate.]

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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  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

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  • 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

Comments

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  • 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

  • Is this an archaic form of illuminate?

    June 27, 2008

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

    June 27, 2008