1. an act or instance of illuminating.
  2. the fact or condition of being illuminated.
  3. a decoration of lights, usually colored lights.
  4. Sometimes illuminations. an entertainment, display, or celebration using lights as a major feature or decoration.
  5. intellectual or spiritual enlightenment.
  6. Also called illuminance, intensity of illumination. Optics. the intensity of light falling at a given place on a lighted surface; the luminous flux incident per unit area, expressed in lumens per unit of area.
  7. a supply of light: a source of illumination.
  8. decoration of a manuscript or book with a painted design in color, gold, etc.
  9. a design used in such decoration.

Origin of illumination

1300–50; Middle English < Medieval Latin illūminātiōn- (stem of illūminātiō) spiritual enlightenment (Latin: illustriousness, glory) See illuminate, -ion
Related formsil·lu·mi·na·tion·al, adjectivenon·il·lu·mi·na·tion, nounpre·il·lu·mi·na·tion, nounre·il·lu·mi·na·tion, noun

Synonyms for illumination Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for non-illumination


  1. the act of illuminating or the state of being illuminated
  2. a source of light
  3. (often plural) mainly British a light or lights, esp coloured lights, used as decoration in streets, parks, etc
  4. spiritual or intellectual enlightenment; insight or understanding
  5. the act of making understood; clarification
  6. decoration in colours, gold, or silver used on some manuscripts or printed works
  7. physics another name (not in technical usage) for illuminance
Derived Formsilluminational, 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 non-illumination



late 14c., "spiritual enlightenment," from Latin illuminationem (nominative illuminatio), from past participle stem of illuminare "to throw into light, make bright, light up;" figuratively "to set off, illustrate," from assimilated form of in- "in, into" (see in- (2)) + lumen (genitive luminis) "light," related to lucere "to shine" (see light (n.)). Meaning "action of lighting" is from 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper