make light of


2 [lahyt]
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: light clothing.
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: light duties.
not very profound or serious; amusing or entertaining: light reading.
of little importance or consequence; trivial: The loss of his job was no light matter.
easily digested: light food.
low in any substance, as sugar, starch, or tars, that is considered harmful or undesirable: light cigarettes.
not heavy or strong: a light apéritif.
(especially of beer and wine) having fewer calories and usually a lower alcohol content than the standard product.
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.
cheerful; gay: a light laugh.
characterized by lack of proper seriousness; frivolous: light conduct.
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: light cavalry.
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: light industry.
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 light air, light breeze.
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.
lightly: 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.

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

7. indistinct; faded. 10. trifling, inconsiderable. 19. cheery, happy. 21. flighty.

1. heavy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
light1 (laɪt)
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 eyeRelated: photo-
5.  anything that illuminates, such as a lamp or candle
6.  See traffic light
7.  a particular quality or type of light: a good light for reading
8.  a.  illumination from the sun during the day; daylight
 b.  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 bringorcome 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.  a.  the act of igniting or kindling something, such as a cigarette
 b.  something that ignites or kindles, esp in a specified manner, such as a spark or flame
 c.  something used for igniting or kindling, such as a match
16.  See lighthouse
17.  a.  the effect of illumination on objects or scenes, as created in a picture
 b.  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
 a.  to gain sudden insight into or understanding of something
 b.  to experience a religious conversion
24.  see the light, see the light of day
 a.  to come into being
 b.  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
 a.  (verb) to ignite something, esp a match, by friction
 b.  (Brit) (interjection) an exclamation of surprise
28.  full of light; well-lighted
29.  medium Compare dark (of a colour) reflecting or transmitting a large amount of light: light yellow
30.  phonetics See dark relating to or denoting an () pronounced with front vowel resonance; clear: the French "l" is much lighter than that of English
vb , lights, lighting, lighted, lit
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.  (tr) to guide or lead by light
Related: photo-
[Old English lēoht; related to Old High German lioht, Gothic liuhath, Latin lux]

light2 (laɪt)
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
 a.  designed to carry light loads
 b.  not loaded
18.  carrying light arms or equipment: light infantry
19.  Compare heavy (of an industry) engaged in the production of small consumer goods using light machinery
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
 a.  (of a bid) made on insufficient values
 b.  (of a player) having failed to take sufficient tricks to make his contract
24.  phonetics, prosody Compare heavy See also light (of a syllable, vowel, etc) unaccented or weakly stressed; short
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
28.  a less common word for lightly
29.  with little equipment, baggage, etc: to travel light
vb (foll by on or upon) , lights, lighting, lighted, lit
30.  (esp of birds) to settle or land after flight
31.  to get down from a horse, vehicle, etc
32.  to come upon unexpectedly
33.  to strike or fall on: the choice lighted on me
[Old English lēoht; related to Dutch licht, Gothic leihts]

Light (laɪt)
1.  God regarded as a source of illuminating grace and strength
2.  Quakerism short for Inner Light

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

"brightness," O.E. leht, earlier leoht, from W.Gmc. *leukhtam (cf. O.Fris. liacht, M.Du. lucht, Ger. Licht), from PIE *leuk- "light, brightness" (cf. Skt. rocate "shines;" Arm. lois "light," lusin "moon;" Gk. leukos "bright, shining, white;" L. lucere "to shine," lux "light," lucidus "clear;" O.C.S.
luci "light;" Lith. laukas "pale;" Welsh llug "gleam, glimmer;" O.Ir. loche "lightning," luchair "brightness;" Hittite lukezi "is bright"). The -gh- was an Anglo-Fr. scribal attempt to render the O.E. hard -h- sound, which has since disappeared. The figurative spiritual sense was in O.E.; the sense of "mental illumination" is first recorded mid-15c. Meaning "something used for igniting" is from 1680s. The related verb is from O.E. lyhtan (cf. O.S. liohtian, Ger. leuchten, Goth. liuhtjan).

"not heavy," from O.E. leoht, from P.Gmc. *lingkhtaz (cf. O.N. lettr, Swed. lätt, O.Fris., M.Du. licht, Ger. leicht, Goth. leihts), from PIE base *le(n)gwh- "light, easy, agile, nimble" (cf. L. levis "light;" see lever). The notion in make light of (1520s) is of "unimportance."
Alternative spelling lite, the darling of advertisers, is first recorded 1962. Light-skirts "woman of easy virtue" is attested from 1590s.

"touch down," from O.E. lihtan "to alight," from P.Gmc. *linkhtijan, lit. "to make light," from *lingkhtaz "not heavy" (see light (adj.)). 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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

light (līt)

  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.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
light   (līt)  Pronunciation Key 
  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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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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Bible Dictionary

Light definition

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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

make light of

Also, make little of. Treat as unimportant, as in He made light of his allergies, or She made little of the fact that she'd won. The first term, which uses light in the sense of "trivial," was first recorded in William Tyndale's 1526 Bible translation (Matthew 22:5), in the parable of the wedding feast, where the invited guests reject the king's invitation: "They made light of it and went their ways." The variant dates from the early 1800s. For an antonym, see make much of.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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