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alight1

[uh-lahyt] /əˈlaɪt/
verb (used without object), alighted or alit, alighting.
1.
to dismount from a horse, descend from a vehicle, etc.
2.
to settle or stay after descending:
The bird alighted on the tree.
3.
to encounter or notice something accidentally.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English alighten, Old English ālīhtan, equivalent to ā- a-3 + līhtan to relieve (originally an animal mount) of weight, light2)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for alighting
  • These are released as spores, alighting elsewhere and starting the cycle over again.
  • No need to cast one in bronze, though, with so many live ones alighting on the monument.
  • Suppose, for a moment, that you are alighting from a spaceship.
  • We are curious as to when this alighting took place.
  • During the sixties realism hovered in the air without definitely alighting.
  • Down the ram flew, and alighting on the ground, stood before the gate of that city.
  • It drew up at the door, and there was the sound of people alighting.
  • The sweet fresh garden-scent came through the open window, and the birds were busy flitting and alighting, gurgling and singing.
  • These pegs render a fall from a horse dangerous, as the chance of alighting on one of them is not small.
  • He stops his van, goes inside and discovers the shafts alighting on an ax stuck in a tree stump.
British Dictionary definitions for alighting

alight1

/əˈlaɪt/
verb (intransitive) alights, alighting, alighted, alit
1.
(usually foll by from) to step out (of) or get down (from): to alight from a taxi
2.
to come to rest; settle; land: a thrush alighted on the wall
Word Origin
Old English ālīhtan, from a-² + līhtan to make less heavy, from līhtlight²

alight2

/əˈlaɪt/
adjective, adverb (postpositive)
1.
burning; on fire
2.
illuminated; lit up
Word Origin
Old English ālīht lit up, from ālīhtan to light up; see light1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for alighting

alight

v.

"to descend, dismount," Old English alihtan, originally "to lighten, take off, take away," from a- "down, aside" (see a- (1)) + lihtan "get off, make light" (see light (v.)). The notion is of getting down off a horse or vehicle, thus lightening it. Of aircraft (originally balloons) from 1786. Related: Alighted; alighting.

adj.

"on fire," early 15c., apparently from Middle English aliht, past participle of alihton (Old English on-lihtan) "to light up," also "to shine upon" (see light (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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