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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
il•lus•trate /ˈɪləˌstreɪt, ɪˈlʌstreɪt/USA pronunciation   v. [+ object],-trat•ed, -trat•ing. 
  1. to provide (a book, etc.) with artwork:to illustrate a book.
  2. to make clear or understandable by providing examples:illustrated his point with statistics.
il•lus•tra•tor, n. [countable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
il•lus•trate  (ilə strāt′, i lustrāt), 
v., -trat•ed, -trat•ing. 

  1. to furnish (a book, magazine, etc.) with drawings, pictures, or other artwork intended for explanation, elucidation, or adornment.
  2. to make clear or intelligible, as by examples or analogies;
  3. [Archaic.]to enlighten.

  1. to clarify one's words, writings, etc., with examples:To prevent misunderstandings, let me illustrate.
  • Latin illustrātus past participle of illustrāre to illuminate, make clear, give glory to. See il-1, luster1, -ate1
  • 1520–30
illus•trat′a•ble, adj. 

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

illustrate /ˈɪləˌstreɪt/ vb
  1. to clarify or explain by use of examples, analogy, etc
  2. (transitive) to be an example or demonstration of
  3. (transitive) to explain or decorate (a book, text, etc) with pictures
Etymology: 16th Century: from Latin illustrāre to make light, explain, from lustrāre to purify, brighten; see lustrum

ˈillusˌtrative adj ˈillusˌtrator n

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