Etymology
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illustration (n.)

c. 1400, "a shining;" early 15c., "a manifestation;" mid-15c., "a spiritual illumination," from Old French illustration "apparition, appearance" (13c.) 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" (from PIE root *en "in") + lustrare "make bright, illuminate," from suffixed form of PIE root *leuk- "light, brightness." Mental sense of "act of making clear in the mind" is from 1580s. Meaning "an illustrative picture" is from 1816.

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Definitions of illustration

illustration (n.)
artwork that helps make something clear or attractive;
illustration (n.)
showing by example;
Synonyms: exemplification
illustration (n.)
an item of information that is typical of a class or group;
illustration (n.)
a visual representation (a picture or diagram) that is used make some subject more pleasing or easier to understand;
From wordnet.princeton.edu