from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Physics 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.
  • n. Physics Electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength.
  • n. The sensation of perceiving light; brightness: a sudden light that made me blink.
  • n. A source of light, especially a lamp, a lantern, or an electric lighting fixture: Turn out the lights when you leave.
  • n. The illumination derived from a source of light: by the light of the moon.
  • n. The particular quantity or quality of such illumination: moved the lamp closer to get better light.
  • n. The pathway or route of such illumination to a person: You're standing in his light.
  • n. A mechanical device that uses illumination as a signal or warning, especially a beacon or traffic signal.
  • n. Daylight.
  • n. Dawn; daybreak.
  • n. Something, such as a window, that admits illumination.
  • n. Architecture One of two or more openings in a window divided by a mullion or mullions.
  • n. A source of fire, such as a match or cigarette lighter.
  • n. Spiritual awareness; illumination.
  • n. Something that provides information or clarification: threw some light on the question.
  • n. A state of awareness or understanding, especially as derived from a particular source: in the light of experience.
  • n. Public attention; general knowledge: brought the scandal to light.
  • n. A way of looking at or considering a matter; an aspect: saw the situation in a different light.
  • n. Archaic Eyesight.
  • n. One's individual opinions, choices, or standards: acted according to their own lights.
  • n. A person who inspires or is adored by another: My daughter is the light of my life.
  • n. A prominent or distinguished person; a luminary: one of the leading lights of the theater.
  • n. An expression of the eyes: a strange light in her eyes.
  • n. In Quaker doctrine, the guiding spirit or divine presence in each person.
  • n. The representation of light in art.
  • transitive v. To set on fire; ignite or kindle.
  • transitive v. To cause to give out light; make luminous: lit a lamp.
  • transitive v. To provide, cover, or fill with light; illuminate: fireworks lighting the sky.
  • transitive v. To signal, direct, or guide with or as if with illumination.
  • transitive v. To enliven or animate: A smile lit her face.
  • intransitive v. To start to burn; be ignited or kindled: Green wood does not light easily.
  • intransitive v. To emit light; be lighted: Wait until the indicator lights up.
  • adj. Having a greater rather than lesser degree of lightness.
  • adj. Of or being an additive primary color.
  • adj. Characterized by or filled with light; bright: a room that is light when the shutters are open.
  • adj. Not dark in color; fair: light hair and skin.
  • adj. Served with milk or cream. Used of coffee.
  • light up To become or cause to become animated or cheerful.
  • light up To start smoking a cigarette, cigar, or pipe.
  • idiom in (the) light of In consideration of; in relationship to.
  • idiom light a fire under To urge or move to action.
  • idiom light at the end of the tunnel The prospect of success, relief, or escape after strenuous effort.
  • adj. Of relatively little weight; not heavy: a light load.
  • adj. Of relatively little weight for its size or bulk: Balsa is a light wood.
  • adj. Of less than the correct, standard, or legal weight: a light pound.
  • adj. Exerting little force or impact; gentle: a light pat.
  • adj. Indistinct; faint: light print that I could barely make out.
  • adj. Of little quantity; scanty: light snow.
  • adj. Consuming or using relatively moderate amounts; abstemious: a light eater; a light smoker.
  • adj. Not harsh or severe: gave the offender a light sentence.
  • adj. Demanding little exertion or effort; not burdensome: light household tasks.
  • adj. Having little importance; insignificant: light, idle chatter.
  • adj. Intended primarily as entertainment; not serious or profound: a light comedy.
  • adj. Free from worries or troubles; blithe: a light heart.
  • adj. Characterized by frivolity; silly or trivial.
  • adj. Liable to change; fickle.
  • adj. Mildly dizzy or faint: felt light in the head.
  • adj. Lacking in ethical discrimination.
  • adj. Moving easily and quickly; nimble: The dancer was light and graceful.
  • adj. Designed for ease and quickness of movement; having a relatively slim structure and little weight: light aircraft.
  • adj. Designed to carry relatively little weight: a light truck.
  • adj. Carrying little equipment or armament: light cavalry; light tanks.
  • adj. Requiring relatively little equipment and using relatively simple processes to produce consumer goods: light industry.
  • adj. Easily awakened or disturbed: a light sleeper.
  • adj. Easily digested: a light supper.
  • adj. Having a spongy or flaky texture; well-leavened: light pastries.
  • adj. Having a loose, porous consistency: light soil.
  • adj. Containing a relatively small amount of a potentially harmful ingredient, such as alcohol, fat, or sodium: light beer; light mayonnaise.
  • adj. Linguistics Of, relating to, or being a syllable ending in a short vowel or a short vowel plus a consonant.
  • adj. Linguistics Of, relating to, or being a vowel or syllable pronounced with little or no stress.
  • adv. In a light manner; lightly.
  • adv. With little weight and few burdens: traveling light.
  • intransitive v. To get down, as from a vehicle or horse; dismount.
  • intransitive v. To descend to the ground after flight; land.
  • intransitive v. To come upon one unexpectedly: Misfortune lighted upon him.
  • intransitive v. To come upon by chance or accident. Used with on or upon: lit on the perfect solution to the problem.
  • light into Informal To attack verbally or physically; assail.
  • light out Informal To leave hastily; run off.
  • idiom go light on To treat casually or gingerly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. having light
  • adj. pale in colour
  • adj. served with extra milk or cream
  • adj. Of low weight; not heavy.
  • adj. Lightly-built; designed for speed or small loads.
  • adj. Gentle; having little force or momentum.
  • adj. Low in fat, calories, alcohol, salt, etc.
  • adj. Unimportant, trivial, having little value or significance.
  • adj. travelling with no carriages, wagons attached
  • adj. Unchaste, wanton.
  • adv. Carrying little.
  • n. A stone that is not thrown hard enough.
  • v. To unload a ship, or to jettison material to make it lighter
  • n. The natural medium emanating from the sun and other very hot sources (now recognised as electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength of 400-750 nm), within which vision is possible.
  • n. A source of illumination.
  • n. Spiritual or mental illumination; enlightenment, useful information.
  • n. Facts. pieces of information; ideas, concepts.
  • n. A notable person within a specific field or discipline.
  • n. A point of view, or aspect from which a concept, person or thing is regarded.
  • n. A flame or something used to create fire.
  • n. A window, or space for a window in architecture
  • n. The series of squares reserved for the answer to a crossword clue
  • n. A cross-light in a double acrostic or triple acrostic.
  • v. To start (a fire).
  • v. To set fire to.
  • v. To illuminate.
  • v. To find by chance.
  • v. To alight.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having light; not dark or obscure; bright; clear.
  • adj. White or whitish; not intense or very marked; not of a deep shade; moderately colored
  • adj. Having little, or comparatively little, weight; not tending to be the center of gravity with force; not heavy.
  • adj. Not burdensome; easy to be lifted, borne, or carried by physical strength.
  • adj. Easy to be endured or performed; not severe; not difficult.
  • adj. Easy to be digested; not oppressive to the stomach; ; also, containing little nutriment.
  • adj. Not heavily armed; armed with light weapons
  • adj. Not encumbered; unembarrassed; clear of impediments; hence, active; nimble; swift.
  • adj. Not heavily burdened; not deeply laden; not sufficiently ballasted.
  • adj. Slight; not important.
  • adj. Well leavened; not heavy.
  • adj. Not copious or heavy; not dense; not inconsiderable
  • adj. Not strong or violent; moderate.
  • adj. Not pressing heavily or hard upon; hence, having an easy, graceful manner; delicate
  • adj. Easy to admit influence; inconsiderate; easily influenced by trifling considerations; unsteady; unsettled; volatile
  • adj. Indulging in, or inclined to, levity; wanting dignity or solemnity; trifling; gay; frivolous; airy; unsubstantial.
  • adj. Not quite sound or normal; somewhat impaired or deranged; dizzy; giddy.
  • adj. Easily bestowed; inconsiderately rendered.
  • adj. Wanton; unchaste.
  • adj. Not of the legal, standard, or usual weight; clipped; diminished.
  • adj. Loose; sandy; easily pulverized.
  • adv. Lightly; cheaply.
  • n. That agent, force, or action in nature by the operation of which upon the organs of sight, objects are rendered visible or luminous.
  • n. That which furnishes, or is a source of, light, as the sun, a star, a candle, a lighthouse, etc.
  • n. The time during which the light of the sun is visible; day; especially, the dawn of day.
  • n. The brightness of the eye or eyes.
  • n. The medium through which light is admitted, as a window, or window pane; a skylight; in architecture, one of the compartments of a window made by a mullion or mullions.
  • n. Life; existence.
  • n. Open view; a visible state or condition; public observation; publicity.
  • n. The power of perception by vision.
  • n. That which illumines or makes clear to the mind; mental or spiritual illumination; enlightenment; knowledge; information.
  • n. Prosperity; happiness; joy; felicity.
  • n. The manner in which the light strikes upon a picture; that part of a picture which represents those objects upon which the light is supposed to fall; the more illuminated part of a landscape or other scene; -- opposed to shade. Cf. Chiaroscuro.
  • n. Appearance due to the particular facts and circumstances presented to view; point of view.
  • n. One who is conspicuous or noteworthy; a model or example.
  • n. A firework made by filling a case with a substance which burns brilliantly with a white or colored flame.
  • intransitive v. To become ignited; to take fire.
  • intransitive v. To be illuminated; to receive light; to brighten; -- with up.
  • intransitive v. To dismount; to descend, as from a horse or carriage; to alight; -- with from, off, on, upon, at, in.
  • intransitive v. To feel light; to be made happy.
  • intransitive v. To descend from flight, and rest, perch, or settle, as a bird or insect.
  • intransitive v. To come down suddenly and forcibly; to fall; -- with on or upon.
  • intransitive v. To come by chance; to happen; -- with on or upon; formerly with into.
  • transitive v. To set fire to; to cause to burn; to set burning; to ignite; to kindle; ; -- sometimes with up.
  • transitive v. To give light to; to illuminate; to fill with light; to spread over with light; -- often with up.
  • transitive v. To attend or conduct with a light; to show the way to by means of a light.
  • transitive v. To lighten; to ease of a burden; to take off.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Bright; clear; not dark or obscure: as, it begins to be light (said of the morning); a light apartment.
  • Pale or whitish in color; applied to colors, highly luminous and more or less deficient in chroma: as, a light complexion; a light pink.
  • To become light or bright; exhibit a bright or luminous effect; shine, as from internal or reflected light: as, her face lighted up with joy; the picture lights up well.
  • To catch fire; kindle, as something to which fire is applied.
  • To make light; give light to, or shed light upon, literally or figuratively; provide with light; illuminate; irradiate: as, to light an apartment; a smile lighted up his countenance.
  • To kindle; ignite; cause to burn, either literally or figuratively: as, to light a fire or a match; to light the torch of rebellion.
  • Having little or relatively little actual weight; not burdensome; not cumbrous or unwieldy: as, a light load; light weapons.
  • Having little weight as compared with bulk; of little density or specific gravity; not heavy, either absolutely or relatively: as, feathers and cork are light; oil is lighter than water.
  • Of short weight; weighing less than the proper or standard amount: as, to use light weights in trade; light coin.
  • In cookery, not heavy or soggy; spongy; well raised: said of bread, cakes, and the like.
  • Lacking that which burdens or makes heavy; hence, free from burden or impediment; unencumbered: as, light infantry; the ship returned light.
  • Not heavy in action or effect; lacking force or intensity; moderate; slight; buoyant; agile; sprightly: as, a ship of light draft; light of foot; a light hand; light sleep; a light wind; light comedy.
  • Not weighty; of little import or consequence; trivial; unimportant: as, a light remark; light reading; a light fault.
  • Not burdensome, hard, or difficult; easy to perform, to endure, to digest, etc.; slight; inconsiderable: as, light work; light punishment; a light repast; a light wine.
  • Not weighed down; free from care or annoyance; cheerful; jubilant: as, a light heart.
  • Lacking moral or mental gravity; characterized by or exhibiting levity; volatile; capricious; frivolous: as, a light mind; light conduct.
  • Hence Given to levity of conduct; loose in morals; wanton; unchaste.
  • Having a sensation of lightness; giddy; dizzy; hence, flighty in mind; delirious.
  • Adapted for or employed in light work.
  • Quickly passing; fleeting; transitory.
  • Without substance; not nutritious or satisfying.
  • Weak; sickly.
  • The lungs, especially of a brute animal (most frequently in the phrase liver and lights): so called from their lightness.
  • Not heavily; not with full weight or force.
  • Lightly; cheaply.
  • Easily; readily; nimbly.
  • With light or easy effort; without requiring or exerting much power: as, a light-running wagon or machine.
  • To make light or less heavy; lighten; ease of a burden.
  • To deliver, as of a child.
  • To get down or descend, as from horseback or from a carriage; dismount; alight.
  • To settle down, as a bird from flight; come to rest; hence, to fall, drop, or spring (upon something): as, bees light among flowers; he lit on his feet; trouble shall light upon him.
  • To come by chance, fall, or happen (upon something): followed by on or upon, formerly sometimes by of.
  • To drop or fall, as if unexpectedly; be brought or drawn: followed by into.
  • n. That which makes things visible; in physics, that form of energy which, acting upon the organs of sight, renders visible the objects from which it proceeds.
  • n. In physiology, the sensation produced by the action of physical luminosity upon the organ of vision. See color.
  • n. Illumination or enlightenment as an effluence or a result; radiation from or to anything, in either a physical or a moral sense; luminosity; glow; radiance: as, the light of the sun, of a taper, or of a glowworm; to be guided by the light of reason; to shed new light on a subject.
  • n. The state or condition of being visible; exposure to view; hence, public observation; publicity: as, his misdeeds have come to light.
  • n. That which gives light; a source of illumination; a body that emits or transmits rays of light, as the sun, the moon, a star, a beacon, a candle, etc.; in pyrotechnics, any piece of fireworks which burns brightly.
  • n. Hence Figuratively, a source of mental or spiritual illumination; one who or that which enlightens, as an eminent teacher; anything which diffuses knowledge, instruction, or information; a guiding power or principle; also, a source of cheerfulness or joy.
  • n. Means of communicating light or fire; something to kindle with: as, to give one a light for a cigar.
  • n. A lighthouse: as, Fastnet light; Sandy Hook light.
  • n. That which admits light; a medium or an opening for the entrance of light, as a window, or a pane or compartment of a window: as, a window consisting of three lights; a light of glass.
  • n. The manner in which the light strikes upon an object or a picture; also, an illuminated part of an object or picture; the part which lies opposite the point or place from which the light comes or is supposed to come.
  • n. The point of view from which, or position in which, anything is looked at or considered; the side or features to which attention is paid; aspect.
  • n. In law, the right to have one's windows unobscured by obstructions on the part of one's neighbors.
  • n. In painting, a small patch or surface of very light color, as white, used in a design, to diversify the effect of the darker colors.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old English lēoht, līht.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English light, liht, leoht, from Old English lēoht ("light, daylight; power of vision; luminary; world"), from Proto-Germanic *leuhtan (“light”), from Proto-Indo-European *lewktom, from the root *lewk- (“light”). Cognate with Scots licht ("light"), West Frisian ljocht ("light"), Dutch licht ("light"), Low German licht ("light"), German Licht ("light"). Related also to Swedish ljus ("light"), Icelandic ljós ("light"), Latin lūx ("light").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English lighten, lihten, from Old English līhtan, lȳhtan, lēohtan ("to lighten, illuminate, give light, shine; grow light, dawn; light, kindle").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English light, liht, leoht, from Old English lēoht ("luminous, bright, light, clear, resplendent, renowned, beautiful"), from Proto-Germanic *leuhtaz (“light”), from Proto-Indo-European *lewk- (“light”). Cognate with Dutch licht, German licht.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English lēoht, from Proto-Germanic *linhtaz, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁lengʷʰ- (“light”). Cognate with Dutch licht, German leicht, Swedish lätt, Norwegian lett, Albanian lehtë, Latin levis, , Lithuanian lengvas, Sanskrit लघु (laghú).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English līhtan


  • A change in the direction of a small portion of the sun's light passing by the solid body of the moon, it being deflected outward by repulsion or reflection from its surface, and other portions being deflected inward after passing the body by mutual repulsion of its own elements toward a _light vacuum_ or space devoid of the element of vibration.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 441, June 14, 1884.

  • We also hold these lights in our hands to honor Christ, and to acknowledge him as the _true light_, [5] whom they represent under this character, and who is called by holy Simeon in this mystery, _a light for the enlightening of the

    The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints January, February, March

  • _Delight_ is naturally formed by the participle _de_ and _light_, to make light, in the same way as "debase," to make base, "defile," to make foul.

    Notes and Queries, Number 38, July 20, 1850

  • A correspondent of Mr. Knight's suggests {114} for the word _delight_ in this passage, also, a new derivation; using _de_ as a negation, and _light (lux), delighted_, removed from the regions of light.

    Notes and Queries, Number 38, July 20, 1850

  • They report: 'Instead of the gas giving increased light as the rate of consumption is increased, it will be seen that _in every case_ there is a point beyond which the _light decreases_ relatively to the proportion of gas consumed.

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XVI., December, 1880.

  • It may be that the mental side is weak; that it is lazy and does not want to think; that the only food it craves is the sensational, and light, _very light_ reading and not much of that.

    The Girl and Her Religion

  • This is sometimes used as a source of light, under the name of _Drummond_ or _lime light_.

    An Elementary Study of Chemistry

  • "Variable as the shade, by the light quivering aspen made"; but variable as the _light_, manifold in fair and serene division, that it may take the color of all that it falls upon, and exalt it.

    Harvard Classics Volume 28 Essays English and American

  • This effect of great light, is an almost invariable accompaniment of supra-consciousness, although there are instances of undoubted cosmic consciousness in which the realization has been a more gradual growth, rather than a sudden influx, in which the phenomenon of _light_ is not greatly marked.

    Cosmic Consciousness

  • Christ Himself is called "the light of the world," and that He once made the very significant remark: "If thine eye be single, _thy whole body shall be full of light_."

    The Problems of Psychical Research Experiments and Theories in the Realm of the Supernormal


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