Definition of illumine in US English:



[with object]literary
  • 1Light up; brighten.

    ‘the lamplight illumined her pale features’
    • ‘The light from the companionway illumined the interior.’
    • ‘Its pathway is illumined by the reflected light from the rose window - shards of blue, scarlet, pale gold that shimmer.’
    • ‘But as it is, such knowledge of exemplary forms is impossible, though the light of God illumines the forms of particular things that we encounter in the world so that we can come to know them.’
    • ‘From my peripheral vision, through the glass windshield, a vast spread of city lights illumining the black night sky over us for miles came into view.’
    • ‘Everywhere is pure, light illumines the ten directions, and the ten thousand dharmas [things] are one as is.’
    become bright, make bright, become brighter, make brighter, light up, lighten, cast light on, shed light on, throw light on, illuminate, irradiate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Enlighten (someone) spiritually or intellectually.
      ‘he assures himself that he is illumined and not deluded’
      • ‘He lives, illumining us with the eternal life that he is.’
      • ‘God continually illumines us, both dwelling upon us and dwelling among us.’
      • ‘Second, the strife between world and earth gives rise to a strife between concealment and unconcealment, which means that, even when we are illumined through a disclosure, much remains hidden.’
      • ‘He was surrounded by people who had many powerful ideas and who illumined him to the point where they could wind him up and then he could do his special stuff.’
      • ‘In his Confessions Augustine redirected reason inward in a fateful focus upon the content and structure of his own mind and soul, as he now experienced them - illumined by grace.’


Middle English: from Old French illuminer, from Latin illuminare (see illuminate).