il·lus·trate (ĭlə-strāt′, ĭ-lŭstrāt′)
v. il·lus·trat·ed, il·lus·trat·ing, il·lus·trates
a. To clarify or explain, as by the use of examples or comparisons: The mayor illustrated the problem with an anecdote.
b. To serve as an example or clarification of: a story that illustrates a broader social problem.
2. To provide (a text) with explanatory or decorative images: illustrated the book with colorful drawings.
3. Obsolete To light up; illuminate.
To present a clarification, example, or explanation.
[Latin illūstrāre, illūstrāt- : in-, in; see IN-2 + lūstrāre, to make bright; see leuk- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.