illustration

[ il-uh-strey-shuhn ]
/ ˌɪl əˈstreɪ ʃən /

noun

something that illustrates, as a picture in a book or magazine.
a comparison or an example intended for explanation or corroboration.
the act or process of illuminating.
the act of clarifying or explaining; elucidation.
Archaic. illustriousness; distinction.

Origin of illustration

1325–75; Middle English < Latin illustrātiōn- (stem of illustrātiō) the act of making vivid, illustrating. See illustrate, -ion
Related forms

Synonym study

2. See case1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for illustration

British Dictionary definitions for illustration

illustration

/ (ˌɪləˈstreɪʃən) /

noun

pictorial matter used to explain or decorate a text
an example or demonstrationan illustration of his ability
the act of illustrating or the state of being illustrated
Derived Formsillustrational, adjective
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 illustration

illustration


n.

c.1400, "a shining;" early 15c., "a manifestation;" mid-15c., "a spiritual illumination," from Old French illustration "apparition, appearance," and directly from Latin illustrationem (nominative illustratio) "vivid representation" (in writing), literally "an enlightening," from past participle stem of illustrare "light up, make light, illuminate;" figuratively "make clear, disclose, explain; adorn, render distinguished," from assimilated form of in- "in" (see in- (2)) + lustrare "make bright, illuminate," related to lucere "shine," lux "light" (see light (n.)). Mental sense of "act of making clear in the mind" is from 1580s. Meaning "an illustrative picture" is from 1816.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper