1 [uh-lahyt]
verb (used without object), alighted or alit, alighting.
to dismount from a horse, descend from a vehicle, etc.
to settle or stay after descending: The bird alighted on the tree.
to encounter or notice something accidentally.

before 1000; Middle English alighten, Old English ālīhtan, equivalent to ā- a-3 + līhtan to relieve (originally an animal mount) of weight, light2) Unabridged


2 [uh-lahyt]
adverb, adjective
provided with light; lighted up.
on fire; burning.

before 1000; now taken as a-1 + light1; orig. past participle of alight to light up (Middle English alihten, Old English onlīhtan, equivalent to on a-1 + līhtan to light1) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
alight1 (əˈlaɪt)
vb , 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
[Old English ālīhtan, from a-² + līhtan to make less heavy, from līhtlight²]

alight2 (əˈlaɪt)
adj, —adv
1.  burning; on fire
2.  illuminated; lit up
[Old English ālīht lit up, from ālīhtan to light up; see light1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"to descend, dismount," O.E. alihtan, from a- "down, aside" (see a- (1)) + lihtan "get off, make light" (see light (v.)).

"on fire," early 15c., apparently from M.E. aliht, pp. of alihton (O.E. on-lihtan) "to light up," also "to shine upon" (see light (n.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The birds couldn't alight on the mats and his head simultaneously.
Inside a near-vacuum bulb, it stayed alight for more than half a day.
The kitchen stove was alight at all burners and pots of water boiled atop them.
Nothing in his official business looks likely to set the sky alight.
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