from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Light coming from the side or in a sidewise manner: as, to take a photograph by side-light.
  • noun An oblique or incidental illustration or exposition.
  • noun A light or window characterized by its position beside some other feature, as, especially, one of the tall narrow windows frequently introduced on each side of the entrance-door of a house.
  • noun A window in the wall of a building, in contradistinction to a skylight.
  • noun A plate of glass in a frame fitted to an air-port in a ship's side, to admit light.
  • noun A lantern placed at the gangway of a man-of-war at night.
  • noun One of the red or green lights carried on the side of a vessel under way at night.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Through The South Seas With Jack London (Dodd, Mead 1913) “As we were cruising in a general westerly direction through the New Hebrides, a little incident occured which throws a side-light on the man, Jack London.”

    Through the South Seas with Jack London

  • Spend enough time at "The Sacred Made Real" and the paintings, with their figures "spotlit" against indeterminate darkness, start to read as "portraits" of the sculptures, a not-unlikely notion underlined by the pairing of Mart nez Monta z's exquisitely carved "Crucifixion" and Zurbar n's two-dimensional version, in which Christ is like a carving in strong side-light.

    Bringing Devotion to Life

  • It's actually more of a "side-light" since true backlighting wouldn't work very well with the e-ink display.

    A Tale of Two eBooks: Hands-on With Sony’s PRS-505 and PRS-700 Readers | Sync Blog

  • Treat your subject from different points of view, sometimes in a side-light, sometimes retrospectively; vary your methods, in fact, to diversify your work.

    A Distinguished Provincial at Paris

  • Up front, LED light-emitting diode side-light and direction indicators complement the round, xenon driving lights.

    Future Rolls

  • Finally, the NCAR posting is an interesting side-light on the whole strange NCAR – UCAR structure.

    "But They are Very, Very Wrong" « Climate Audit

  • I was so far in my reflections when, as I have said, a side-light began to shine upon the subject from the laboratory table.

    The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

  • Henrietta was not in his confidence, though he was in hers, and Isabel consequently received no side-light upon his state of mind.

    The Portrait of a Lady

  • Its value in furnishing a side-light on the subject of habit, to which the preceding chapters have been more directly applicable, lies in its emphasis on the importance of the inventor (or designer, if you prefer) having clearly before him at all times the effect of habits of thought and action both in himself and in all others.

    Industrial Progress and Human Economics

  • An interesting side-light is thrown on the changing conditions of the

    Policing the Plains Being the Real-Life Record of the Famous North-West Mounted Police


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.