V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. to light something up or show it off with light; 2. to make something clear or understandable--enlighten; 3. to make someone show happiness

Synonyms: lighten, elucidate, brighten, clarify, enlighten

Antonyms: dim, cloud

Tips: Illuminate can also have more specialized meaning: "to decorate something with lights" or "to decorate a document with colors and/or designs." Illuminate and elucidate are synonymous in the context of making something complicated more clear. Both words are derived from Latin words that mean "light." Think, "shedding light on an issue," so that it is easier to see and understand. Both words are good, although elucidate may be a little more sophisticated. Illuminating is an adjective that means "enlightening" or "clarifying new information about a subject, making it easier to understand."

Usage Examples:

Using a light bulb with a higher wattage should help illuminate this room. (brighten)

She is a wonderful, illuminating conversationalist. (enlightening) adjective

I think when our client sees this new market research, he's going to find it quite illuminating, as it really goes into depth on current market trends. (enlightening, clarifying) adjective

I thought he wrote an excellent memo that illuminated all of the difficult issues that we need to address on this project. (clarified, elucidated)

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