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lights

[lahyts] /laɪts/
plural noun
1.
the lungs, especially of sheep, pigs, etc.
Origin
1150-1200
1150-1200; Middle English lihte, lightes, noun use of liht light2; cf. lung

light1

[lahyt] /laɪt/
noun
1.
something that makes things visible or affords illumination:
All colors depend on light.
2.
Physics.
  1. Also called luminous energy, radiant energy. electromagnetic radiation to which the organs of sight react, ranging in wavelength from about 400 to 700 nm and propagated at a speed of 186,282 mi./sec (299,972 km/sec), considered variously as a wave, corpuscular, or quantum phenomenon.
  2. a similar form of radiant energy that does not affect the retina, as ultraviolet or infrared rays.
3.
the sensation produced by stimulation of the organs of sight.
4.
an illuminating agent or source, as the sun, a lamp, or a beacon.
5.
the radiance or illumination from a particular source:
the light of a candle.
6.
the illumination from the sun; daylight:
We awoke at the first light.
7.
daybreak or dawn:
when light appeared in the east.
8.
daytime:
Summer has more hours of light.
9.
a particular light or illumination in which an object seen takes on a certain appearance:
viewing the portrait in dim light.
10.
a device for or means of igniting, as a spark, flame, or match:
Could you give me a light?
11.
a traffic light:
Don't cross till the light changes.
12.
the aspect in which a thing appears or is regarded:
Try to look at the situation in a more cheerful light.
13.
the state of being visible, exposed to view, or revealed to public notice or knowledge; limelight:
Stardom has placed her in the light.
14.
a person who is an outstanding leader, celebrity, or example; luminary:
He became one of the leading lights of Restoration drama.
15.
Art.
  1. the effect of light falling on an object or scene as represented in a picture.
  2. one of the brightest parts of a picture.
16.
a gleam or sparkle, as in the eyes.
17.
a measure or supply of light; illumination:
The wall cuts off our light.
18.
spiritual illumination or awareness; enlightenment.
19.
Architecture.
  1. Also called day. one compartment of a window or window sash.
  2. a window, especially a small one.
20.
mental insight; understanding.
21.
lights, the information, ideas, or mental capacities possessed:
to act according to one's lights.
22.
a lighthouse.
23.
Archaic. the eyesight.
adjective, lighter, lightest.
24.
having light or illumination; bright; well-lighted:
the lightest room in the entire house.
25.
pale, whitish, or not deep or dark in color:
a light blue.
26.
(of coffee or tea) containing enough milk or cream to produce a light color.
verb (used with object), lighted or lit, lighting.
27.
to set burning, as a candle, lamp, fire, match, or cigarette; kindle; ignite.
28.
to turn or switch on (an electric light):
One flick of the master switch lights all the lamps in the room.
29.
to give light to; furnish with light or illumination:
The room is lighted by two large chandeliers.
30.
to make (an area or object) bright with or as if with light (often followed by up):
Hundreds of candles lighted up the ballroom.
31.
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.
32.
to guide or conduct with a light:
a candle to light you to bed.
verb (used without object), lighted or lit, lighting.
33.
to take fire or become kindled:
The damp wood refused to light.
34.
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.
35.
to become illuminated when switched on:
This table lamp won't light.
36.
to become bright, as with light or color (often followed by up):
The sky lights up at sunset.
37.
to brighten with animation or joy, as the face or eyes (often followed by up).
Idioms
38.
bring to light, to discover or reveal:
The excavations brought to light the remnants of an ancient civilization.
39.
come to light, to be discovered or revealed:
Some previously undiscovered letters have lately come to light.
40.
hide one's light under a bushel, to conceal or suppress one's talents or successes.
41.
in a good / bad light, under favorable (or unfavorable) circumstances:
She worshiped him, but then she'd only seen him in a good light.
42.
in (the) light of, taking into account; because of; considering:
It was necessary to review the decision in the light of recent developments.
43.
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.
44.
see the light,
  1. to come into existence or being.
  2. to be made public.
  3. to begin to accept or understand a point of view one formerly opposed:
    Her father was opposed to her attending an out-of-town college, but he finally saw the light.
45.
shed / throw light on, to clarify; clear up:
His deathbed confession threw light on a mystery of long standing.
Origin
before 900; (noun and adj.) Middle English; Old English lēoht; cognate with Old Saxon lioht, Old Frisian liacht, Dutch, German licht, Gothic liuhath (noun); akin to Old Norse ljōs (noun), ljōss (adj.), Latin lūx (noun), Greek leukós bright, white; (v.) Middle English lighten, Old English līhtan, cognate with Old Saxon liuhtian, Old High German liuhten (German leuchten), Gothic liuhtjan
Related forms
lightful, adjective
lightfully, adverb
Can be confused
lighted, lit.

light2

[lahyt] /laɪt/
adjective, lighter, lightest.
1.
of little weight; not heavy:
a light load.
2.
of little weight in proportion to bulk; of low specific gravity:
a light metal.
3.
of less than the usual or average weight:
light clothing.
4.
weighing less than the proper or standard amount:
to be caught using light weights in trade.
5.
of small amount, force, intensity, etc.:
light trading on the stock market; a light rain; light sleep.
6.
using or applying little or slight pressure or force:
The child petted the puppy with light, gentle strokes.
7.
not distinct; faint:
The writing on the page had become light and hard to read.
8.
easy to endure, deal with, or perform; not difficult or burdensome:
light duties.
9.
not very profound or serious; amusing or entertaining:
light reading.
10.
of little importance or consequence; trivial:
The loss of his job was no light matter.
11.
easily digested:
light food.
12.
low in any substance, as sugar, starch, or tars, that is considered harmful or undesirable:
light cigarettes.
13.
  1. not heavy or strong:
    a light apéritif.
  2. (especially of beer and wine) having fewer calories and usually a lower alcohol content than the standard product.
14.
spongy or well-leavened, as cake.
15.
(of soil) containing much sand; porous or crumbly.
16.
slender or delicate in form or appearance:
a light, graceful figure.
17.
airy or buoyant in movement:
When she dances, she's as light as a feather.
18.
nimble or agile:
light on one's feet.
19.
free from trouble, sorrow, or worry; carefree:
a light heart.
20.
cheerful; gay:
a light laugh.
21.
characterized by lack of proper seriousness; frivolous:
light conduct.
22.
sexually promiscuous; loose.
23.
easily swayed; changeable; volatile:
a heart light of love; His is a life of a man light of purpose.
24.
dizzy; slightly delirious:
I get light on one martini.
25.
Military. lightly armed or equipped:
light cavalry.
26.
having little or no cargo, encumbrance, or the like; not burdened:
a light freighter drawing little water.
27.
adapted by small weight or slight build for small loads or swift movement:
The grocer bought a light truck for deliveries.
28.
using small-scale machinery primarily for the production of consumer goods:
light industry.
29.
Nautical. noting any sail of light canvas set only in moderate or calm weather, as a royal, skysail, studdingsail, gaff topsail, or spinnaker.
30.
Meteorology. (of wind) having a speed up to 7 miles per hour (3 m/sec).
31.
Phonetics. (of l- sounds) resembling a front vowel in quality; clear:
French l is lighter than English l.
32.
Prosody.
  1. unstressed.
  2. short.
33.
Poker. being in debt to the pot:
He's a dollar light.
adverb, lighter, lightest.
34.
lightly:
to travel light.
35.
with no load or cargo hauled or carried:
a locomotive running light to its roundhouse.
noun
36.
a light product, as a beer or cigarette.
Idioms
37.
make light of, to treat as unimportant or trivial:
They made light of our hard-won victory.
Origin
before 900; Middle English; Old English lēoht, līht; cognate with Old Frisian li(u)cht, Old Saxon -līht, Dutch licht, German leicht, Old Norse lēttr, Gothic leihts
Synonyms
7. indistinct; faded. 10. trifling, inconsiderable. 19. cheery, happy. 21. flighty.
Antonyms
1. heavy.

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
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.
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Examples from the web for lights
  • About two million lights add holiday cheer to the zoo grounds.
  • The illumination comes from lights suspended from cranes, and the fog rises from hidden machines.
  • He then places the seedlings under fluorescent lights upstairs in what he calls his pumpkin room.
  • He recalled the taste of whiskey, the cold slap of night air, the glare of rushing lights.
  • Electric flood lights have been installed along the walls to light up the entire area, which is guarded by the peacekeepers.
  • With cars backing up, the warden turns on his siren and flashing lights.
  • The moon shines upon the quiet river, and the steamers go by with their lights.
  • Such nefarious lights can only be extinguished with milk.
  • It was clear as soon as the stage lights went up that this was not some low-rent puny-autocrat shtick.
  • The white and yellow sine waves in the sculpture are actually fluorescent lights.
British Dictionary definitions for lights

lights1

/laɪts/
plural noun
1.
a person's ideas, knowledge, or understanding: he did it according to his lights

lights2

/laɪts/
plural noun
1.
the lungs, esp of sheep, bullocks, and pigs, used for feeding pets and occasionally in human food
Word Origin
C13: plural noun use of light², referring to the light weight of the lungs

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
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Word Origin and History for lights
n.

"the lungs," c.1200, literally "the light (in weight) organs," from light (adj.1); also see lung. Obsolete now except in phrases like to knock (someone's) lights out.

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
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lights 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
lights 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.
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lights 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.
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Slang definitions & phrases for lights

lights

noun

A police car: There were five lights at Dunkin' Donuts (1980s+ Teenagers)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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lights 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
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Idioms and Phrases with lights
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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10
11
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