American English

Definition of illustrate verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they illustrate
    he / she / it illustrates
    past simple illustrated
    -ing form illustrating
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  1. 1[usually passive] to use pictures, photographs, diagrams, etc. in a book, etc. illustrate something an illustrated textbook illustrate something with something His lecture was illustrated with slides taken during the expedition.
  2. 2illustrate something illustrate how, what, etc… to make the meaning of something clearer by using examples, pictures, etc. To illustrate my point, let me tell you a little story. Last year's sales figures are illustrated in Figure 2. Language Bankprocessdescribing a process This diagram illustrates the process of paper-making. / This diagram shows how paper is made. First/First of all, logs are delivered to a paper mill, where the bark is removed and the wood is cut into small chips. Next/Second, the wood chips are pulped, either using chemicals or in a pulping machine. Pulping breaks down the internal structure of the wood and enables/allows the natural oils to be removed. Once/After the wood has been pulped, the pulp is bleached in order to remove impurities. /…is bleached so that impurities can be removed. The next stage is to feed the pulp into the paper machine, where it is mixed with water and then poured onto a wire conveyor belt. As the pulp travels along the conveyor belt, the water drains away. This causes the solid material to sink to the bottom, forming a layer of paper. At this point the new paper is still wet, so it is passed between large heated rollers, which press out the remaining water and simultaneously dry the paper. / …dry the paper at the same time. The final stage is to wind the paper onto large rolls. /Finally, the paper is wound onto large rolls.
  3. 3illustrate something illustrate how, what, etc… illustrate that… to show that something is true or that a situation exists synonym demonstrate The incident illustrates the need for better security measures.
  4. Language Bankillustratereferring to a chart, graph, or table This bar chart illustrates how many journeys people made on public transportation over a three-month period. This table compares bus, train, and taxi use between April and June. The results are shown in the chart below. In this pie chart, the survey results are broken down by age. This pie chart breaks down the survey results by age. As can be seen from these results, younger people use buses more than older people. According to these figures, bus travel accounts for 60% of public transportation use. From the data in the above graph, it is apparent that buses are the most widely used form of public transportation. AWL Collocationsillustrateillustrate verbto explain or make something clear using examples, pictures, or diagramsamply best, nicely clearly, graphically, vividlyOne of the stories in the collection best illustrates Jefferson's feelings about his mother. This model vividly illustrates the impact of one individual's behavior on the spread of disease.importance point, concept, principle, thesis complexity, difficultyThese statistics illustrate two important points. A simple example will illustrate these concepts.attempt to serve to suffice toHe attempts to illustrate his argument through detailed discussions. Two examples should suffice to illustrate the scale of the intended toThe case studies are intended to illustrate a link between engineering and architecture.illustration nounan example that makes a point or an idea clearstriking, vivid classic graphicalThe community development process in Chile offers vivid illustrations of a number of issues raised in this way of ~A number of examples of strikes in different parts of the country are provided by way of illustration.for ~ purposesThe data are for illustration purposes only.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: illustrate