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Sample Sentences Using
illustrate -- as in: as illustrated by this example
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as in: as illustrated by this example Define
to help make clear -- typically by example
  • Pictures of flooding help to illustrate the problem of global warming.
  • This example will help illustrate my point
  • This diagram illustrates the relationships I’ve mentioned.
  • A pie chart showing expense by category would be illustrative.

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  • "It sort of floated toward me," said Ron, illustrating the movement with his free index finger, "right to my chest, and then — it just went straight through."
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • ...and is whipped for being hard to please! I have an abundance of such illustrations of the same principle, drawn from my own observation, but think the cases I have cited sufficient.
    Frederick Douglass  --  The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  • To believe in things that you cannot. Let me illustrate. I heard once of...
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • I asked to explain more fully, so that I might not by any chance mislead him, so he said, "I shall illustrate."
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • The result of this lowering was somewhat illustrative of that sagacious saying in the Fishery,—the more whales the less fish.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • The chief objection to them is, that the diligent narrator may lack space, or (what is often the same thing) may not be able to think of them with any degree of particularity, though he may have a philosophical confidence that if known they would be illustrative.
    George Eliot  --  Middlemarch

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  • With this unexpected speech, energetically delivered and accompanied by action illustrative of the various exercises referred to, Phil Squod shoulders his way round three sides of the gallery, and abruptly tacking off at his commander, makes a butt at him with his head, intended to express devotion to his service.
    Charles Dickens  --  Bleak House
  • The matter looked dreary reading enough, with illustrative diagrams and repulsive tables of figures, and the copy was sixty years old.
    Joseph Conrad  --  Heart of Darkness
  • This anecdote, so strikingly illustrative of the opulence of milliners, was not received with any great demonstration of feeling, inasmuch as Kate hung down her head while it was relating, and Ralph manifested very intelligible symptoms of extreme impatience.
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
  • And then he made a great many other remarks, no less illustrative of his humility, which were received with equal favour and applause, and were, withal, as original and as much to the purpose, as the remarks of great men commonly are.
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist
  • Somewhere in the middle of these three illustrative points, Mrs. Glass had left off listening and sat down.
    J.D. Salinger  --  Franny and Zooey
  • It was about this time that the newspapers and magazines were beginning to pay that illustrative attention to the beauties of the stage which has since become fervid.
    Theodore Dreiser  --  Sister Carrie
  • The illustrative strings and the orange stick representing the poles seemed so real that even to this day the mere mention of temperate zone suggests a series of twine circles; and I believe that if any one should set about it he could convince me that white bears actually climb the North Pole.
    Helen Keller  --  Story of My Life
  • Swann, who really liked Saniette, felt bound to supply him with a few facts illustrative of the Duke’s culture, which would prove that such ignorance on his part was literally impossible; but suddenly he stopped short; he had realised, as he was speaking, that Saniette needed no proof, but knew already that the story was untrue for the simple reason that he had at that moment invented it.
    Marcel Proust  --  Swann’s Way
  • Sir William Dobbin had a great opinion of his son and narrated many stories illustrative of the Major’s learning, valour, and estimation in the world’s opinion.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • ") There, Levy says, like is not intended to introduce a literal, verbatim quotation, but an illustrative example, letting her "offer a stereotypical response for her brother."
    Robert MacNeil and William Crane  --  Do You Speak American?
  • The editor, confronted with the two stories given above, threw his pledge to the winds, and, instead of returning the article, printed it with the illustrative examples omitted, and nothing left but the argument from political principles against the Censorship.
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Mrs. Warren’s Profession
  • Yet before winding up with the concluding events, I may mention some interesting facts illustrative of our exact position at the time these took place.
    Johann Wyss  --  The Swiss Family Robinson
  • Many more examples could have been mentioned as illustrative of similar conduct under similar circumstances.
    John F. Kennedy  --  Profiles in Courage
  • This was according to a custom, old probably as the day of the race of Orestes—a custom, by the way, worthy of study as a marvel of history, illustrative of the absurd yet appalling extremities to which men frequently suffer their follies to drag them.
    Lew Wallace  --  Ben Hur
  • [ cited cases and gave illustrative examples from the past.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • Too filled with nervous energy to keep still, he had begun to stride about the grassy clearing, making illustrative gestures with an imaginary sword.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • To illustrate the effect of slavery on the white man,—to show that he has no powers of endurance, in such a condition, superior to those of his black brother,—DANIEL O’CONNELL, the distinguished advocate of universal emancipation, and the mightiest champion of prostrate but not conquered Ireland, relates the following anecdote...
    Frederick Douglass  --  The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  • Soon after my arrival, I was told of a circumstance which illustrated their spirit.
    Frederick Douglass  --  The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  • Now in the present case Erskine contended that the examples of the whale and the lady were reciprocally illustrative of each other.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • CHAPTER 42 Illustrative of the convivial Sentiment, that the best of Friends must sometimes part The pavement of Snow Hill had been baking and frying all day in the heat, and the twain Saracens’ heads guarding the entrance to the hostelry of whose name and sign they are the duplicate presentments, looked—or seemed, in the eyes of jaded and footsore passers-by, to look—more vicious than usual, after blistering and scorching in the sun, when, in one of the inn’s smallest sitting-rooms,
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
  • "The ceremony of to-day," continues Sir Leicester, "strikingly illustrative of the respect in which my deceased friend"—he lays a stress upon the word, for death levels all distinctions—"was held by the flower of the land, has, I say, aggravated the shock I have received from this most horrible and audacious crime.
    Charles Dickens  --  Bleak House
  • The truth is that she was but a poor illustrative instance of the prophet Baruch’s sly definition: "The virgin that loveth to go gay."
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Mayor of Casterbridge
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To see samples using other meanings of illustrate, click a word sense below:
as in: as illustrated by this example Define
to help make clear -- typically by example
as in: an illustrated children's book Define
to draw pictures (or provide photographs) to accompany a book or other writing
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