Hi there,

How do most native speakers (both AmEng and BE ones) pronounce the adjective 'illustrative'?

I have checked a few online dictionaries (available via the OneLook site ) ... Most dictionaries point out the stress should be either on the first or on the second syllable in this word. The online webster however gives a third variant where the third syllable is pronounced as "-raytive". In this case the first and the third syllables seem to be nearly "equally stressed" (as far as I understand).

In short, the word "illustrative" seems to allow THREE different pronunciation patterns, doesn't it?

What pronunciation of 'illustrative' is most common in "your" English (country/region/community/...office :-)?


(BrE speaker) I put the stress on the first syllable. I wasn't even aware that there was any other correct possibility.


I've always heard (and said) ill-LUST-ra-tiv (except on imported BBC productions). AmE.


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East Coast American: ILL-us-tray-tiv.

 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.

Thanks everybody for their input!

Regarding US East Coast English vs US West Coast English pronunciation differences.

Could you possibly give more examples of this kind (i.e. similar to "illustrative")? I mean words ( nouns or adjectives) in which the accented syllable depends on where the speaker is from?