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Related to illuminate: illuminati


To clarify or further explain something. I think the author's scathing description of the ball gowns really illuminates his view of upper-class life. Thank you for illuminating that point for me.

illuminate (something) with (something)

1. Literally, to use something to light up a particular place or area. Sam wants to illuminate the whole room with candles before he proposes to Jen.
2. By extension, to use something to clarify or explain something else. I think the author really illuminates his view of upper-class life with his scathing description of the ball gowns.
3. To adorn or embellish something, usually a text, with things like colors and designs. The author had illuminated the text with accents in gold leaf.
See also: illuminate
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

illuminate something with something

1. Lit. to light up something with something. The lights illuminated the monument with a bright glow. The monument was illuminated with mercury vapor lamps.
2. Fig. to clarify or elucidate something with explanation. Please try to illuminate this matter with an explanation. Could you illuminate your answer with a little more detail?
3. to decorate a manuscript with pictures or designs, as done in medieval monasteries. The monks spent all their days illuminating manuscripts with pictures. No one has the patience to illuminate books with tiny designs.
See also: illuminate
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


mod. alcohol intoxicated. (A play on lit.) Paul is a bit illuminated.
See also: illuminate
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Privately held Illuminate Labs manufactures lighting technology for game development.
Using the same powerful automation behind MetaJure Smart DMS, ILLUMINATE automatically captures, OCR's and indexes all of the documents, folders, and email on personal computers, network drives, or other dedicated storage sites such as Microsoft[R] SharePoint[R], Worldox[R], and NetDocuments[R] - without disrupting the data.
Direct competition in education and organization between grass-roots movements and intellectual visions of an abstract new Spain also illuminate the continuing lack of real reform.
In their introductio the editors conclude that "taken together, these essays reveal that historicall Germans have searched for political consensus and social stability in many different ways," (12-13) and the volume suggests that historians seeking to explain consensus and stability have sought to illuminate their subject with no less variety.
The findings may suggest ways for gardeners to illuminate their greenhouses to prevent the tumors -- which slow growth, cause leaves to curl and occasionally kill plants -- and could shed light on how organisms regulate cell division and enlargement, says study coauthor Theodor W.
They start with a solid pine frame, add beautiful artwork and illuminate the art from behind.
In the same way that Matisse composed his late cutouts--cutting, pasting, accumulating surfaces of colors--Palomino has made these small pieces, which illuminate his other work.
An image-bearing beam and a reference beam illuminate the crystal.
The light does more than illuminate the contours of its object; it creates a diffuse, painterly play of colors that seems to emanate from the interior of the glass.
These microhistorical stories of divorce serve as the exceptional norm, admirably fulfilling Kingdon's purposes for writing: to contribute to a history of divorce and to illuminate the operation of the Consistory.
In an installation in 1986, a luminous beam was projected to illuminate architectural details in a space where the light emanated from cases and was diffused throughout the room.
Drawing psychological and cultural paradigms from Freud, Jessica Benjamin, Nancy Chodorow, Giles Deleuze, Jane Gallop, Philip Greven, Coppelia Kahn, Louise Kaplan, Camille Paglia, Gayle Rubin, Klaus Theweleit and other psychoanalytic, feminist, and cultural critics, he uses those paradigms as grids through which to read the lives and writings of Wroth and Herbert as well as to illuminate the dominant literary convention--Petrarchism--within which both wrote.
The lights, which illuminate banners outside the venue, were on at 5.45pm on Thursday - three hours before sunset.