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[ih-loo-min] /ɪˈlu mɪn/
verb (used with or without object), illumined, illumining.
Origin of illumine
1300-50; Middle English illuminen < Latin illūmināre to light up, equivalent to il- il-1 + lūmin- (stem of lūmen) light + -ā- thematic vowel + -re infinitive suffix
Related forms
illuminable, adjective
self-illumined, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for illumine
Historical Examples
  • Again I am told the host managed to illumine his refusal with a smile.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • Rome, immense and dominated by a battle of clouds, seemed to illumine the sky.

    The Child of Pleasure Gabriele D'Annunzio
  • His disc was of a lurid red,—a colour appropriate to the spectacle it was to illumine.

    The Ocean Waifs Mayne Reid
  • If this can illumine the obscurity, it will all be on the positive side of the inquiry.

    Moon Lore Timothy Harley
  • The sun shone on Chepe; he only asked that it should illumine the page he read.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • And if it is invisible itself, how will it illumine an object?

    The Grain Ship Morgan Robertson
  • It is the detail of the real, and no longer only the whole in a lump, that it claims to illumine.

    Creative Evolution Henri Bergson
  • One knows not at what hour God may touch and illumine his or another's heart.

    Epistle Sermons, Vol. II Martin Luther
  • With them you retain what you have seen, and illumine it with a special radiance.

    Arachne, Complete Georg Ebers
  • But the sun which was to illumine this day with wondrous glory had not yet appeared.

    The Empress Josephine Louise Muhlbach
British Dictionary definitions for illumine


a literary word for illuminate
Derived Forms
illuminable, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin illūmināre to make light; see illuminate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for illumine

late 14c., "to enlighten spiritually;" mid-15c., "to light up, shine light on," from Old French illuminer, from Latin illuminare (see illumination). Related: illumined.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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