follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

light3

[lahyt] /laɪt/
verb (used without object), lighted or lit, lighting.
1.
to get down or descend, as from a horse or a vehicle.
2.
to come to rest, as on a spot or thing; fall or settle upon; land:
The bird lighted on the branch. My eye lighted on some friends in the crowd.
3.
to come by chance; happen; hit (usually followed by on or upon):
to light on a clue; to light on an ideal picnic spot.
4.
to fall, as a stroke, weapon, vengeance, or choice, on a place or person:
The choice lighted upon our candidate.
Verb phrases
5.
light into, Informal. to make a vigorous physical or verbal attack on:
He would light into anyone with the slightest provocation.
6.
light out, Slang. to leave quickly; depart hurriedly:
He lit out of here as fast as his legs would carry him.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English lihten, Old English līhtan to make light, relieve of a weight; see light2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for light on

light1

/laɪt/
noun
1.
the medium of illumination that makes sight possible
2.
Also called visible radiation. electromagnetic radiation that is capable of causing a visual sensation and has wavelengths from about 380 to about 780 nanometres
3.
(not in technical usage) electromagnetic radiation that has a wavelength outside this range, esp ultraviolet radiation: ultraviolet light
4.
the sensation experienced when electromagnetic radiation within the visible spectrum falls on the retina of the eye related prefix photo-
5.
anything that illuminates, such as a lamp or candle
6.
7.
a particular quality or type of light: a good light for reading
8.
  1. illumination from the sun during the day; daylight
  2. the time this appears; daybreak; dawn
9.
anything that allows the entrance of light, such as a window or compartment of a window
10.
the condition of being visible or known (esp in the phrases bring or come to light)
11.
an aspect or view: he saw it in a different light
12.
mental understanding or spiritual insight
13.
a person considered to be an authority or leader
14.
brightness of countenance, esp a sparkle in the eyes
15.
  1. the act of igniting or kindling something, such as a cigarette
  2. something that ignites or kindles, esp in a specified manner, such as a spark or flame
  3. something used for igniting or kindling, such as a match
16.
17.
  1. the effect of illumination on objects or scenes, as created in a picture
  2. an area of brightness in a picture, as opposed to shade
18.
a poetic or archaic word for eyesight
19.
the answer to a clue in a crossword
20.
in light of, in the light of, in view of; taking into account; considering
21.
light at the end of the tunnel, hope for the ending of a difficult or unpleasant situation
22.
out like a light, quickly asleep or unconscious
23.
see the light
  1. to gain sudden insight into or understanding of something
  2. to experience a religious conversion
24.
see the light, see the light of day
  1. to come into being
  2. to come to public notice
25.
shed light on, throw light on, to clarify or supply additional information on
26.
stand in a person's light, to stand so as to obscure a person's vision
27.
strike a light
  1. (verb) to ignite something, esp a match, by friction
  2. (interjection) (Brit) an exclamation of surprise
adjective
28.
full of light; well-lighted
29.
(of a colour) reflecting or transmitting a large amount of light: light yellow Compare medium (sense 2), dark (sense 2)
30.
(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)
31.
to ignite or cause to ignite
32.
(often foll by up) to illuminate or cause to illuminate
33.
to make or become cheerful or animated
34.
(transitive) to guide or lead by light
See also lights1 , light up
Derived Forms
lightish, adjective
lightless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English lēoht; related to Old High German lioht, Gothic liuhath, Latin lux

light2

/laɪt/
adjective
1.
not heavy; weighing relatively little
2.
having relatively low density: magnesium is a light metal
3.
lacking sufficient weight; not agreeing with standard or official weights
4.
not great in degree, intensity, or number: light rain, a light eater
5.
without burdens, difficulties, or problems; easily borne or done: a light heart, light work
6.
graceful, agile, or deft: light fingers
7.
not bulky or clumsy
8.
not serious or profound; entertaining: light verse
9.
without importance or consequence; insignificant: no light matter
10.
frivolous or capricious
11.
loose in morals
12.
dizzy or unclear: a light head
13.
(of bread, cake, etc) spongy or well leavened
14.
easily digested: a light meal
15.
relatively low in alcoholic content: a light wine
16.
(of a soil) having a crumbly texture
17.
(of a vessel, lorry, etc)
  1. designed to carry light loads
  2. not loaded
18.
carrying light arms or equipment: light infantry
19.
(of an industry) engaged in the production of small consumer goods using light machinery Compare heavy (sense 10)
20.
(aeronautics) (of an aircraft) having a maximum take-off weight less than 5670 kilograms (12 500 pounds)
21.
(chem) (of an oil fraction obtained from coal tar) having a boiling range between about 100° and 210°C
22.
(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
23.
(bridge)
  1. (of a bid) made on insufficient values
  2. (of a player) having failed to take sufficient tricks to make his contract
24.
(phonetics, prosody) (of a syllable, vowel, etc) unaccented or weakly stressed; short Compare heavy (sense 13) See also light1 (sense 30)
25.
(phonetics) the least of three levels of stress in an utterance, in such languages as English
26.
(informal) light on, lacking a sufficient quantity of (something)
27.
make light of, to treat as insignificant or trifling
adverb
28.
a less common word for lightly
29.
with little equipment, baggage, etc: to travel light
verb (intransitive) lights, lighting, lighted, lit (lɪt)
30.
(esp of birds) to settle or land after flight
31.
to get down from a horse, vehicle, etc
32.
foll by on or upon. to come upon unexpectedly
33.
to strike or fall on: the choice lighted on me
Derived Forms
lightish, adjective
lightly, adverb
lightness, noun
Word Origin
Old English lēoht; related to Dutch licht, Gothic leihts

Light

/laɪt/
noun
1.
God regarded as a source of illuminating grace and strength
2.
(Quakerism) short for Inner Light
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for light on

light

n.

"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.

adj.

"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.

v.

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
light on in Medicine

light (līt)
n.

  1. Electromagnetic radiation that has a wavelength in the range from about 4,000 (violet) to about 7,700 (red) angstroms and may be perceived by the normal unaided human eye.

  2. Electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
light on in Science
light
  (līt)   
  1. Electromagnetic radiation that can be perceived by the human eye. It is made up of electromagnetic waves with wavelengths between 4 × 10-7 and 7 × 10-7 meters. Light, and all other electromagnetic radiation, travels at a speed of about 299,728 km (185,831 mi) per second in a vacuum. See also photon.

  2. Electromagnetic energy of a wavelength just outside the range the human eye can detect, such as infrared light and ultraviolet light. See Note at electromagnetic radiation.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
light on in Culture

light definition


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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for light on
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
light on in the Bible

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).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with light on

light on

Also, light upon. Happen upon, come across, discover. For example, John was delighted to light on a new solution to the problem, or We were following the path when suddenly we lit upon a cave. [ Second half of 1400s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for light

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for light

9
10
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with light on

Nearby words for light on