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verb [transitive] formal illuminate pronunciation in American English /ɪˈlumɪˌneɪt/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participleilluminating
past tenseilluminated
past participleilluminated
  1. 1
    to make a place bright with light, or to shine a light on something

    Brilliant sunshine illuminated the scene.

    Her face was dimly illuminated by the reading lamp beside her.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of illuminate
    Synonyms and related words for this sense of illuminate
    1. a.
      to decorate something by putting or shining bright lights on it

      a beautifully illuminated Christmas tree

  2. 2
    to make something clear and easier to understand

    His comments can illuminate aspects of a writer's work unforgettably.


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