Illuminate vs Lighting - What's the difference?

illuminate | lighting |

As nouns the difference between illuminate and lighting

is that illuminate is someone thought to have an unusual degree of enlightenment while lighting is the equipment used to provide illumination; the illumination so provided.

As a verb illuminate

is to shine light on something.

As an adjective illuminate

is (obsolete) enlightened.




  • To shine light on something.
  • To decorate something with lights.
  • To clarify or make something understandable.
  • To decorate the page of a manuscript book with ornamental designs.
  • (figurative) To make spectacular.
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2012 , date=June 2 , author= Phil McNulty , title=England 1-0 Belgium , work=BBC Sport citation , page= , passage=Hodgson's approach may not illuminate proceedings in Poland and Ukraine but early evidence suggests they will be tough to break down.}}
  • To glow; to light up.
  • * 1994 , Sylvia Carlson, ?Verne Carlson, Professional Cameraman's Handbook (ISBN 024080080X), page 494:
  • Red diode in button illuminates when camera runs at speed set in five-digit speed selector.
  • * 2011'/'''2012 , "Spectrum", written by Florence Welch and Paul Epworth, performed by (Florence and the Machine), released on the album ''Ceremonials (2011):
  • Say my name / and every color illuminates. / We are shining /
  • To be exposed to light.
  • (military) To direct a (radar) beam toward.
  • Synonyms

    * *

    Derived terms

    * transilluminate * illuminator


    (en noun)
  • Someone thought to have an unusual degree of enlightenment.
  • Adjective

    (en adjective)
  • (obsolete) enlightened
  • (Bishop Hall)




    (wikipedia lighting) (en noun)
  • The equipment used to provide illumination; the illumination so provided.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-08-03, volume=408, issue=8847, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Yesterday’s fuel , passage=The dawn of the oil age was fairly recent. Although the stuff was used to waterproof boats in the Middle East 6,000 years ago, extracting it in earnest began only in 1859 after an oil strike in Pennsylvania.
  • The act of activating such equipment, or of igniting a flame etc.
  • * 2012 , Andrew Pessin, Uncommon Sense (page 142)
  • We've observed plenty of strikings followed by lightings , so even if we should not say that the strikings cause the lightings, isn't it at least reasonable to predict, and to believe, that the next time we strike a match in similar conditions, it will be followed by a lighting?
  • The process of annealing metals.
  • (Webster 1913)