something that makes things visible or affords illumination:
All colors depend on light.
the sensation produced by stimulation of the organs of sight.
an illuminating agent or source, as the sun, a lamp, or a beacon.
the radiance or illumination from a particular source:
the light of a candle.
the illumination from the sun; daylight:
We awoke at the first light.
daybreak or dawn:
when light appeared in the east.
Summer has more hours of light.
a particular light or illumination in which an object seen takes on a certain appearance:
viewing the portrait in dim light.
a device for or means of igniting, as a spark, flame, or match:
Could you give me a light?
a traffic light:
Don’t cross till the light changes.
the aspect in which a thing appears or is regarded:
Try to look at the situation in a more cheerful light.
the state of being visible, exposed to view, or revealed to public notice or knowledge; limelight:
Stardom has placed her in the light.
a person who is an outstanding leader, celebrity, or example; luminary:
He became one of the leading lights of Restoration drama.
a gleam or sparkle, as in the eyes.
a measure or supply of light; illumination:
The wall cuts off our light.
spiritual illumination or awareness; enlightenment.
mental insight; understanding.
lights, the information, ideas, or mental capacities possessed:
to act according to one’s lights.
Archaic. the eyesight.
adjective, lighter, lightest.
having light or illumination; bright; well-lighted:
the lightest room in the entire house.
pale, whitish, or not deep or dark in color:
a light blue.
(of coffee or tea) containing enough milk or cream to produce a light color.
verb (used with object), lighted or lit, lighting.
to set burning, as a candle, lamp, fire, match, or cigarette; kindle; ignite.
to turn or switch on (an electric light):
One flick of the master switch lights all the lamps in the room.
to give light to; furnish with light or illumination:
The room is lighted by two large chandeliers.
to make (an area or object) bright with or as if with light (often followed by up):
Hundreds of candles lighted up the ballroom.
to cause (the face, surroundings, etc.) to brighten, especially with joy, animation, or the like (often followed by up):
A smile lit up her face. Her presence lighted up the room.
to guide or conduct with a light:
a candle to light you to bed.
verb (used without object), lighted or lit, lighting.
to take fire or become kindled:
The damp wood refused to light.
to ignite a cigar, cigarette, or pipe for purposes of smoking (usually followed by up):
He took out a pipe and lighted up before speaking.
to become illuminated when switched on:
This table lamp won’t light.
to become bright, as with light or color (often followed by up):
The sky lights up at sunset.
to brighten with animation or joy, as the face or eyes (often followed by up).
bring to light, to discover or reveal:
The excavations brought to light the remnants of an ancient civilization.
come to light, to be discovered or revealed:
Some previously undiscovered letters have lately come to light.
hide one’s light under a bushel, to conceal or suppress one’s talents or successes.
in a good / bad light, under favorable (or unfavorable) circumstances:
She worshiped him, but then she’d only seen him in a good light.
in (the) light of, taking into account; because of; considering:
It was necessary to review the decision in the light of recent developments.
light at the end of the tunnel, a prospect of success, relief, or redemption:
We haven’t solved the problem yet, but we’re beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.
see the light,
shed / throw light on, to clarify; clear up:
His deathbed confession threw light on a mystery of long standing.
adjective, lighter, lightest.
of little weight; not heavy:
a light load.
of little weight in proportion to bulk; of low specific gravity:
a light metal.
of less than the usual or average weight:
weighing less than the proper or standard amount:
to be caught using light weights in trade.
of small amount, force, intensity, etc.:
light trading on the stock market; a light rain; light sleep.
using or applying little or slight pressure or force:
The child petted the puppy with light, gentle strokes.
not distinct; faint:
The writing on the page had become light and hard to read.
easy to endure, deal with, or perform; not difficult or burdensome:
not very profound or serious; amusing or entertaining:
of little importance or consequence; trivial:
The loss of his job was no light matter.
low in any substance, as sugar, starch, or tars, that is considered harmful or undesirable:
spongy or well-leavened, as cake.
(of soil) containing much sand; porous or crumbly.
slender or delicate in form or appearance:
a light, graceful figure.
airy or buoyant in movement:
When she dances, she’s as light as a feather.
nimble or agile:
light on one’s feet.
free from trouble, sorrow, or worry; carefree:
a light heart.
a light laugh.
characterized by lack of proper seriousness; frivolous:
sexually promiscuous; loose.
easily swayed; changeable; volatile:
a heart light of love; His is a life of a man light of purpose.
dizzy; slightly delirious:
I get light on one martini.
Military. lightly armed or equipped:
having little or no cargo, encumbrance, or the like; not burdened:
a light freighter drawing little water.
adapted by small weight or slight build for small loads or swift movement:
The grocer bought a light truck for deliveries.
using small-scale machinery primarily for the production of consumer goods:
Nautical. noting any sail of light canvas set only in moderate or calm weather, as a royal, skysail, studdingsail, gaff topsail, or spinnaker.
Meteorology. (of wind) having a speed up to 7 miles per hour (3 m/sec).
Compare , .
Phonetics. (of l- sounds) resembling a front vowel in quality; clear:
French l is lighter than English l.
Poker. being in debt to the pot:
He’s a dollar light.
adverb, lighter, lightest.
to travel light.
with no load or cargo hauled or carried:
a locomotive running light to its roundhouse.
a light product, as a beer or cigarette.
make light of, to treat as unimportant or trivial:
They made light of our hard-won victory.
the medium of illumination that makes sight possible
Also called visible radiation. electromagnetic radiation that is capable of causing a visual sensation and has wavelengths from about 380 to about 780 nanometres
(not in technical usage) electromagnetic radiation that has a wavelength outside this range, esp ultraviolet radiation: ultraviolet light
the sensation experienced when electromagnetic radiation within the visible spectrum falls on the retina of the eye related prefix photo-
anything that illuminates, such as a lamp or candle
See traffic light
a particular quality or type of light: a good light for reading
anything that allows the entrance of light, such as a window or compartment of a window
the condition of being visible or known (esp in the phrases bring or come to light)
an aspect or view: he saw it in a different light
mental understanding or spiritual insight
a person considered to be an authority or leader
brightness of countenance, esp a sparkle in the eyes
a poetic or archaic word for eyesight
the answer to a clue in a crossword
in light of, in the light of, in view of; taking into account; considering
light at the end of the tunnel, hope for the ending of a difficult or unpleasant situation
out like a light, quickly asleep or unconscious
see the light
see the light, see the light of day
shed light on, throw light on, to clarify or supply additional information on
stand in a person’s light, to stand so as to obscure a person’s vision
strike a light
full of light; well-lighted
(of a colour) reflecting or transmitting a large amount of light: light yellow Compare medium (sense 2), dark (sense 2)
(phonetics) relating to or denoting an (l) pronounced with front vowel resonance; clear: the French “l” is much lighter than that of English See dark (sense 9)
verb lights, lighting, lighted, lit (lɪt)
to ignite or cause to ignite
(often foll by up) to illuminate or cause to illuminate
to make or become cheerful or animated
(transitive) to guide or lead by light
not heavy; weighing relatively little
having relatively low density: magnesium is a light metal
lacking sufficient weight; not agreeing with standard or official weights
not great in degree, intensity, or number: light rain, a light eater
without burdens, difficulties, or problems; easily borne or done: a light heart, light work
graceful, agile, or deft: light fingers
not bulky or clumsy
not serious or profound; entertaining: light verse
without importance or consequence; insignificant: no light matter
frivolous or capricious
loose in morals
dizzy or unclear: a light head
(of bread, cake, etc) spongy or well leavened
easily digested: a light meal
relatively low in alcoholic content: a light wine
(of a soil) having a crumbly texture
(of a vessel, lorry, etc)
carrying light arms or equipment: light infantry
(of an industry) engaged in the production of small consumer goods using light machinery Compare heavy (sense 10)
(aeronautics) (of an aircraft) having a maximum take-off weight less than 5670 kilograms (12 500 pounds)
(chem) (of an oil fraction obtained from coal tar) having a boiling range between about 100° and 210°C
(of a railway) having a narrow gauge, or in some cases a standard gauge with speed or load restrictions not applied to a main line
(phonetics, prosody) (of a syllable, vowel, etc) unaccented or weakly stressed; short Compare heavy (sense 13) See also light1 (sense 30)
(phonetics) the least of three levels of stress in an utterance, in such languages as English
(informal) light on, lacking a sufficient quantity of (something)
make light of, to treat as insignificant or trifling
a less common word for lightly
with little equipment, baggage, etc: to travel light
verb (intransitive) lights, lighting, lighted, lit (lɪt)
(esp of birds) to settle or land after flight
to get down from a horse, vehicle, etc
foll by on or upon. to come upon unexpectedly
to strike or fall on: the choice lighted on me
God regarded as a source of illuminating grace and strength
(Quakerism) short for Inner Light
“brightness, radiant energy,” Old English leht, earlier leoht “light, daylight; luminous, beautiful,” from West Germanic *leukhtam (cf. Old Saxon lioht, Old Frisian liacht, Middle Dutch lucht, Dutch licht, Old High German lioht, German Licht, Gothic liuhaþ “light”), from PIE *leuk- “light, brightness” (cf. Sanskrit rocate “shines;” Armenian lois “light,” lusin “moon;” Greek leukos “bright, shining, white;” Latin lucere “to shine,” lux “light,” lucidus “clear;” Old Church Slavonic luci “light;” Lithuanian laukas “pale;” Welsh llug “gleam, glimmer;” Old Irish loche “lightning,” luchair “brightness;” Hittite lukezi “is bright”).
The -gh- was an Anglo-French scribal attempt to render the Germanic hard -h- sound, which has since disappeared from this word. The figurative spiritual sense was in Old English; the sense of “mental illumination” is first recorded mid-15c. Meaning “something used for igniting” is from 1680s. Meaning “a consideration which puts something in a certain view (e.g. in light of) is from 1680s. Something that’s a joy and a delight has been the light of (someone’s) eyes since Old English:
Ðu eart dohtor min, minra eagna leoht [Juliana].
To see the light “come into the world” is from 1680s; later in a Christian sense.
“not heavy,” from Old English leoht “not heavy, light in weight; easy, trifling; quick, agile,” from Proto-Germanic *lingkhtaz (cf. Old Norse lettr, Swedish lätt, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch licht, German leicht, Gothic leihts), from PIE root *legwh- “not heavy, having little weight” (cf. Latin levis “light,” Old Irish lu “small;” see lever).
The notion in make light of (1520s) is of “unimportance.” Alternative spelling lite, the darling of advertisers, is first recorded 1962. The adverb is Old English leohte, from the adjective. Light-skirts “woman of easy virtue” is attested from 1590s. To make light of is from 1520s.
“not dark,” Old English leoht, common Germanic (cf. Old Saxon and Old High German lioht, Old Frisian liacht, German licht “bright,” from the source of Old English leoht (see light (n.)). Meaning “pale-hued” is from 1540s.
“touch down,” from Old English lihtan “to alight; alleviate, leave,” from Proto-Germanic *linkhtijan, literally “to make light,” from *lingkhtaz “not heavy” (see light (adj.1)). Apparently the ground sense is “to dismount a horse, etc., and thus relieve it of one’s weight.” To light out “leave hastily” is 1870, from a nautical meaning “move out, move heavy objects,” of unknown origin but perhaps belonging to this word (cf. lighter (n.1)).
“to illuminate, fill with brightness,” Old English lyhtan, common Germanic (cf. Old Saxon liohtian, Old High German liuhtan, German leuchten, Gothic liuhtjan “to light”), from source of from light (n.). Related: Lighted; lighting.
The type of electromagnetic wave that is visible to the human eye. Visible light runs along a spectrum from the short wavelengths of violet to the longer wavelengths of red. (See photon.)
the green light, idiot light, out like a light, redlight
the offspring of the divine command (Gen. 1:3). “All the more joyous emotions of the mind, all the pleasing sensations of the frame, all the happy hours of domestic intercourse were habitually described among the Hebrews under imagery derived from light” (1 Kings 11:36; Isa. 58:8; Esther 8:16; Ps. 97:11). Light came also naturally to typify true religion and the felicity it imparts (Ps. 119:105; Isa. 8:20; Matt. 4:16, etc.), and the glorious inheritance of the redeemed (Col. 1:12; Rev. 21:23-25). God is said to dwell in light inaccessible (1 Tim. 6:16). It frequently signifies instruction (Matt. 5:16; John 5:35). In its highest sense it is applied to Christ as the “Sun of righteousness” (Mal. 4:2; Luke 2:32; John 1:7-9). God is styled “the Father of lights” (James 1:17). It is used of angels (2 Cor. 11:14), and of John the Baptist, who was a “burning and a shining light” (John 5:35), and of all true disciples, who are styled “the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14).
[lahyt-feys] /ˈlaɪtˌfeɪs/ Printing. noun 1. a type characterized by thin, lines. This is a sample of lightface. adjective 2. Also, light-faced. (of printed matter) set in lightface.
[lahyt-fast, -fahst] /ˈlaɪtˌfæst, -ˌfɑst/ adjective 1. not affected or faded by , especially sunlight; colorfast when exposed to .
[lahyt-fast, -fahst] /ˈlaɪtˌfæst, -ˌfɑst/ adjective 1. not affected or faded by , especially sunlight; colorfast when exposed to . adjective 1. (of a dye or dyed article) unaffected by light
[lahyt-fing-gerd] /ˈlaɪtˈfɪŋ gərd/ adjective 1. skillful at or given to pilfering, especially by picking pockets; thievish. 2. having light and nimble fingers. adjective 1. having nimble or agile fingers, esp for thieving or picking pockets adj. “thievish,” 1540s, from light (adj.1) + finger. adjective