illuminate (v.) Look up illuminate at Dictionary.com
c.1500, "to light up, shine on," a back-formation from illumination, or else from Latin illuminatus, past participle of illuminare (see illumination). Earlier was enlumyen (late 14c.) "decorate written material with gold, silver, bright colors," from Old French enluminer, from Late Latin inluminare; also illumine (late 14c.). Related: Illuminated; illuminating.
illuminati (n.) Look up illuminati at Dictionary.com
1590s, plural of Latin illuminatus "enlightened" (in figurative sense), past participle of illuminare (see illumination). Originally applied to a 16c. Spanish sect (the Alumbrados), then to other sects; since 1797 used as a translation of German Illuminaten, name of a secret society founded 1776 in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, and holding deistic and republican principles; hence used generally of free-thinkers and sarcastically of those professing intellectual enlightenment (1816). Related: Illuminatism; illuminatist.
illumination (n.) Look up illumination at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "spiritual enlightenment," from Latin illuminationem (nominative illuminatio), from past participle stem of illuminare "to throw into light, make bright, light up;" figuratively "to set off, illustrate," from assimilated form of in- "in, into" (see in- (2)) + lumen (genitive luminis) "light," related to lucere "to shine" (see light (n.)). Meaning "action of lighting" is from 1560s.
illumine (v.) Look up illumine at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to enlighten spiritually;" mid-15c., "to light up, shine light on," from Old French illuminer, from Latin illuminare (see illumination). Related: illumined.
illusion (n.) Look up illusion at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "act of deception," from Old French illusion "a mocking, deceit, deception" (12c.), from Latin illusionem (nominative illusio) "a mocking, jesting, irony," from illudere "mock at," literally "to play with," from assimilated form of in- "at, upon" (see in- (2)) + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). Sense of "deceptive appearance" developed in Church Latin and was attested in English by late 14c. Related: Illusioned "full of illusions" (1920).
illusionary (adj.) Look up illusionary at Dictionary.com
1886, from illusion + -ary.
illusionist (n.) Look up illusionist at Dictionary.com
"conjurer, magic act performer," 1840, from illusion + -ist. Earlier "one suffering from illusions" (1812).
illusive (adj.) Look up illusive at Dictionary.com
"deceptive, illusory," formed in English 1670s, from stem of illusion + -ive. Also see illusory.
illusory (adj.) Look up illusory at Dictionary.com
1590s, from French illusorie, from Late Latin illusorius "ironical, of a mocking character," from illus-, past participle stem of Latin illudere "mock at," literally "to play with," from assimilated form of in- "at, upon" (see in- (2)) + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous).
illustrate (v.) Look up illustrate at Dictionary.com
1520s, "light up, shed light on;" 1610s, "educate by means of examples," back-formation from illustration, and in some cases from Latin illustratus, past participle of illustrare (see illustration). Sense of "provide pictures to explain or decorate" is 1630s. Related: Illustrated; illustrating.
illustration (n.) Look up illustration at Dictionary.com
c.1400, "a shining;" early 15c., "a manifestation;" mid-15c., "a spiritual illumination," from Old French illustration "apparition, appearance," and directly from Latin illustrationem (nominative illustratio) "vivid representation" (in writing), literally "an enlightening," from past participle stem of illustrare "light up, make light, illuminate;" figuratively "make clear, disclose, explain; adorn, render distinguished," from assimilated form of in- "in" (see in- (2)) + lustrare "make bright, illuminate," related to lucere "shine," lux "light" (see light (n.)). Mental sense of "act of making clear in the mind" is from 1580s. Meaning "an illustrative picture" is from 1816.
illustrative (adj.) Look up illustrative at Dictionary.com
1640s, from illustrate + -ive.
illustrator (n.) Look up illustrator at Dictionary.com
1590s, "one who enlightens," from illustrate + Latinate agent-noun suffix -or. Meaning "one who draws pictures" is 1680s.
illustrious (adj.) Look up illustrious at Dictionary.com
1560s, from Latin illustris "lighted, bright, brilliant;" figuratively "distinguished, famous," probably a back-formation from illustrare "embellish, distinguish, make famous" (see illustration). Sometimes also illustrous. Replaced illustre in same sense (mid-15c.), from Middle French illustre.
illy (adv.) Look up illy at Dictionary.com
"in an ill manner," 1540s, from ill (adj.) + -ly (2).
Illyria Look up Illyria at Dictionary.com
ancient country on the northeast shore of the Adriatic in modern Croatia; the name is of obscure origin.
Ilocano Look up Ilocano at Dictionary.com
from Philippine Spanish Ilocos, literally "river men," from Tagalog ilog "river."
im- Look up im- at Dictionary.com
variant of in- before -b-, -m-, -p-, in the sense of "not, opposite of" (immobile, impersonal) as well as "in, into" (implant, impoverish). See in-. In some English words it alternates with em- (1).
image (n.) Look up image at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "piece of statuary; artificial representation that looks like a person or thing," from Old French image "image, likeness; figure, drawing, portrait; reflection; statue," earlier imagene (11c.), from Latin imaginem (nominative imago) "copy, statue, picture," figuratively "idea, appearance," from stem of imitari "to copy, imitate" (see imitation).

Meaning "reflection in a mirror" is early 14c. The mental sense was in Latin, and appears in English late 14c. Sense of "public impression" is attested in isolated cases from 1908 but not in common use until its rise in the jargon of advertising and public relations, c.1958.
image (v.) Look up image at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to form a mental picture," from Old French imagier, from image (see image (n.)). Related: Imaged; imaging.
imagery (n.) Look up imagery at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "piece of sculpture, carved figures," from Old French imagerie (13c.), from imagier "painter," from image (see image (n.)). Meaning "ornate description" (in poetry, etc.) is from 1580s.
imaginable (adj.) Look up imaginable at Dictionary.com
late 14c., ymaginable, from Old French imaginable and directly from Late Latin imaginabilis, from Latin imaginari (see imagine). Related: Imaginably.
imaginary (adj.) Look up imaginary at Dictionary.com
"not real," late 14c., ymaginaire, from imagine + -ary; or else from Late Latin imaginarius "seeming, fancied," from imaginari. Imaginary friend (one who does not exist) attested by 1789.
imagination (n.) Look up imagination at Dictionary.com
"faculty of the mind which forms and manipulates images," mid-14c., ymaginacion, from Old French imaginacion "concept, mental picture; hallucination," from Latin imaginationem (nominative imaginatio) "imagination, a fancy," noun of action from past participle stem of imaginari (see imagine).
imaginative (adj.) Look up imaginative at Dictionary.com
late 14c., ymaginatyf, from Old French imaginatif and directly from Medieval Latin imaginativus, from imaginat-, stem of Latin imaginari (see imagine). Related: Imaginatively; imaginativeness.
imagine (v.) Look up imagine at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "to form a mental image of," from Old French imaginer "sculpt, carve, paint; decorate, embellish" (13c.), from Latin imaginari "to form a mental picture to oneself, imagine" (also, in Late Latin imaginare "to form an image of, represent"), from imago (see image). Sense of "suppose" is first recorded late 14c. Related: Imagined; imagining.
imagism (n.) Look up imagism at Dictionary.com
name of a movement in poetry that sought clarity of expression through use of precise visual images, "hard light, clear edges," coined 1912 by Ezra Pound; see image + -ism. Related: Imagist.
imago (n.) Look up imago at Dictionary.com
1797, from Latin imago "image" (see image).
imam (n.) Look up imam at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Arabic, literally "leader; one who precedes," from amma "to go before, precede."
imbalance (n.) Look up imbalance at Dictionary.com
1895, from im- "not" + balance (n.).
imbecile (adj.) Look up imbecile at Dictionary.com
1540s, imbecille "weak, feeble" (especially in reference to the body), from Middle French imbecile (15c.), from Latin imbecillus "weak, feeble" (see imbecility). Sense shifted to mental weakness from mid-18c. As a noun, "feeble-minded person," it is attested from 1802. Traditionally an adult with a mental age of roughly 6 to 9 (above an idiot but beneath a moron).
imbecilic (adj.) Look up imbecilic at Dictionary.com
1875, from imbecile + -ic.
imbecility (n.) Look up imbecility at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "physical weakness, feebleness (of a body part), impotence," from Middle French imbécillité and directly from Latin imbecillitatem (nominative imbecillitas) "weakness, feebleness," from imbecillus "weak, feeble," traditionally said to mean "unsupported" (quasi sine baculo), from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + baculum "a stick" (see bacillus). "Weakness in mind" (as opposed to body) was a secondary sense in Latin but was not attested in English until 1620s.
imbibe (v.) Look up imbibe at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French imbiber, embiber "to soak into," from Latin imbibere "absorb, drink in, inhale," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + bibere "to drink," related to potare "to drink," from PIE *po(i)- "to drink" (see potion). Figurative sense of "mentally drink in" (knowledge, ideas, etc.) was the main one in classical Latin, first attested in English 1550s. Related: Imbibed; imbibing.
imbricate (v.) Look up imbricate at Dictionary.com
1704 (implied in imbricated), from Latin imbricatus "covered with tiles," past participle of imbricare "to cover with rain tiles" (see imbrication). As an adjective from 1650s. Related: Imbricated; imbricating.
imbrication (n.) Look up imbrication at Dictionary.com
1640s, from French imbrication, from Latin imbricare "to cover with tiles," from imbricem (nominative imbrex) "curved roof tile used to draw off rain," from imber (genitive imbris) "rain," from PIE *ombh-ro- "rain" (cognates: Sanskrit abhra "cloud, thunder-cloud, rainy weather," Greek ombros "rain"), from root *nebh- "moist, water" (see nebula).
imbroglio (n.) Look up imbroglio at Dictionary.com
1750, from Italian imbroglio, from imbrogliare "confuse, tangle," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + brogliare "embroil," probably from Middle French brouiller "confuse" (see broil (v.2); also see embroil).
imbrue (v.) Look up imbrue at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "to soak, steep;" mid-15c., "to stain, soil," from Old French embreuvere "to moisten," a metathesis of embeuvrer, from em- (see im-) + -bevrer, ultimately from Latin bibere "to drink" (see imbibe). Or perhaps from Old French embroue "soiled," ultimately from boue "mud, dirt."
imbue (v.) Look up imbue at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "to keep wet; to soak, saturate;" also figuratively "to cause to absorb" (feelings, opinions, etc.), from Latin imbuere "moisten," of uncertain origin, perhaps from the same root as imbrication. Compare also Old French embu, past participle of emboivre, from Latin imbibere "drink in, soak in" (see imbibe), which might have influenced the English word. Related: Imbued; imbuing.
imburse (v.) Look up imburse at Dictionary.com
1520s, from Medieval Latin imbursare, from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + bursa "purse." Related: Imbursement.
imitable (adj.) Look up imitable at Dictionary.com
from French imitable (16c.), from Latin imitabilis "that may be imitated," from imitari (see imitation). Related: Imitability.
imitate (v.) Look up imitate at Dictionary.com
1530s, a back-formation from imitation or imitator, or else from Latin imitatus. Related: Imitated; imitating. An Old English word for this was æfterhyrigan.
imitation (n.) Look up imitation at Dictionary.com
c.1400, "emulation; act of copying," from Old French imitacion, from Latin imitationem (nominative imitatio) "a copying, imitation," from past participle stem of imitari "to copy, portray, imitate," from PIE *im-eto-, from root *aim- "copy" (cognates: Hittite himma- "imitation, substitute"). Meaning "an artificial likeness" is from c.1600. As an adjective, from 1840.
imitative (adj.) Look up imitative at Dictionary.com
1580s, probably from imitate + -ive; or else from Middle French imitatif, from Late Latin imitativus, from imitat-, stem of imitari.
imitator (n.) Look up imitator at Dictionary.com
1520s; see imitate + -or. Perhaps from French imitateur (14c.).
immaculacy (n.) Look up immaculacy at Dictionary.com
1799; see immaculate + -cy.
immaculate (adj.) Look up immaculate at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "free from mental or moral pollution, pure," from a figurative use of Latin immaculatus "unstained," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + maculatus "spotted, defiled," past participle of maculare "to spot," from macula "spot, blemish." The literal sense of "spotlessly clean or neat" in English is first attested 1735. Immaculate Conception is late 15c., from Middle French conception immaculée (late 15c.); declared to be an article of faith in 1854.
immanence (n.) Look up immanence at Dictionary.com
1816; see immanent + -ence. Immanency is from 1650s.
immanent (adj.) Look up immanent at Dictionary.com
"indwelling, inherent," 1530s, via French, from Late Latin immanens, present participle of Latin immanere "to dwell in, remain in," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + manere "to dwell" (see manor). Contrasted with transcendent. Related: Immanently.
Immanuel Look up Immanuel at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name; see Emmanuel.