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[ih-luhs-truh-tiv, il-uh-strey-tiv] /ɪˈlʌs trə tɪv, ˈɪl əˌstreɪ tɪv/
serving to illustrate; explanatory:
illustrative examples.
Origin of illustrative
First recorded in 1635-45; illustrate + -ive
Related forms
illustratively, adverb
nonillustrative, adjective
nonillustratively, adverb
overillustrative, adjective
overillustratively, adverb
self-illustrative, adjective
unillustrative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for illustrative
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We shall instance a single case, as illustrative of the process.

  • The first of these illustrative portrayals is the Parable of the Ten Virgins.

    Jesus the Christ James Edward Talmage
  • Such are illustrative instances from Germany, Italy, and Holland.

  • A tale for the young, illustrative of the preciousness of Scripture promises.

    Hunter's Marjory Margaret Bruce Clarke
  • A couple of tales shall suffice as illustrative of this superstition.

    Welsh Folk-Lore Elias Owen
  • We spoke of Homer's similes as illustrative of the Ionic feelings about war.

    Short Studies on Great Subjects James Anthony Froude
  • We speak of the clergyman simply as illustrative of our idea in this matter.

    Hidden Treasures

    Harry A. Lewis
  • We instance one of these occasions as illustrative of many others.

    Fairy Fingers Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie
Word Origin and History for illustrative

1640s, from illustrate + -ive.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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