[ ih-loo-muh-ney-ting ]
/ ɪˈlu məˌneɪ tɪŋ /


giving or casting light.
informative; enlightening.

Origin of illuminating

First recorded in 1555–65; illuminate + -ing2
Related formsnon·il·lu·mi·nat·ing, adjectivenon·il·lu·mi·nat·ing·ly, adverbun·il·lu·mi·nat·ing, adjective

Definition for illuminating (2 of 2)

Origin of illuminate

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin illūminātus (past participle of illūmināre to light up, brighten). See illumine, -ate1
Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for illuminating

British Dictionary definitions for illuminating (1 of 2)


/ (ɪˈluːmɪˌneɪtɪŋ) /


serving to inform or clarify; instructive
Derived Formsilluminatingly, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for illuminating (2 of 2)


verb (ɪˈluːmɪˌneɪt)

adjective (ɪˈluːmɪnɪt, -ˌneɪt)

archaic made clear or bright with light; illuminated

noun (ɪˈluːmɪnɪt, -ˌneɪt)

a person who has or claims to have special enlightenment
Derived Formsilluminative, adjectiveilluminator, noun

Word Origin for illuminate

C16: from Latin illūmināre to light up, from lūmen light
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

Word Origin and History for illuminating



c.1500, "to light up, shine on," a back-formation from illumination, or else from Latin illuminatus, past participle of illuminare (see illumination). Earlier was enlumyen (late 14c.) "decorate written material with gold, silver, bright colors," from Old French enluminer, from Late Latin inluminare; also illumine (late 14c.). Related: Illuminated; illuminating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper