Last modified on 20 October 2014, at 21:59

light

EnglishEdit

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Alternative formsEdit

PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English light, liht, leoht, from Old English lēoht (light, daylight; power of vision; luminary; world), from Proto-Germanic *leuhtą (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), Russian луч (luč, beam of light), Armenian լույս (luys, light).

NounEdit

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light (plural lights)

  1. (uncountable) 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.
    As you can see, this spacious dining-room gets a lot of light in the mornings.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, The Celebrity:
      Then came a maid with hand-bag and shawls, and after her a tall young lady. She stood for a moment holding her skirt above the grimy steps, [] , and the light of the reflector fell full upon her.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 3, The China Governess[1]:
      Here the stripped panelling was warmly gold and the pictures, mostly of the English school, were mellow and gentle in the afternoon light.
    • 2013 July 20, “Out of the gloom”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8845: 
      [Rural solar plant] schemes are of little help to industry or other heavy users of electricity. Nor is solar power yet as cheap as the grid. For all that, the rapid arrival of electric light to Indian villages is long overdue. When the national grid suffers its next huge outage, as it did in July 2012 when hundreds of millions were left in the dark, look for specks of light in the villages.
  2. A source of illumination.
    Put that light out!
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 5, The Mirror and the Lamp:
      He was thinking; but the glory of the song, the swell from the great organ, the clustered lights, […], the height and vastness of this noble fane, its antiquity and its strength—all these things seemed to have their part as causes of the thrilling emotion that accompanied his thoughts.
  3. Spiritual or mental illumination; enlightenment, useful information.
    Can you throw any light on this problem?
    • Shakespeare
      He shall never know / That I had any light of this from thee.
  4. (in the plural, now rare) Facts; pieces of information; ideas, concepts.
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, Book I, New York 2001, page 166:
      Now these notions are twofold, actions or habits […], which are durable lights and notions, which we may use when we will.
  5. A notable person within a specific field or discipline.
    Picasso was one of the leading lights of the cubist movement.
    • Tennyson
      Joan of Arc, a light of ancient France
  6. (painting) The manner in which the light strikes 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.
  7. A point of view, or aspect from which a concept, person or thing is regarded.
    I'm really seeing you in a different light today.
    Magoon's governorship in Cuba was viewed in a negative light by many Cuban historians for years thereafter.
    • South
      Frequent consideration of a thing [] shows it in its several lights and various ways of appearance.
  8. A flame or something used to create fire.
    Hey, buddy, you got a light?
  9. A firework made by filling a case with a substance which burns brilliantly with a white or coloured flame.
    a Bengal light
  10. A window, or space for a window in architecture.
    This facade has eight south-facing lights.
  11. The series of squares reserved for the answer to a crossword clue.
    The average length of a light on a 15×15 grid is 7 or 8.
  12. (informal) A cross-light in a double acrostic or triple acrostic.
  13. Open view; a visible state or condition; public observation; publicity.
    • Shakespeare
      The duke yet would have dark deeds darkly answered; he would never bring them to light.
  14. The power of perception by vision.
    • Bible, Psalms xxxviii. 10
      My strength faileth me; as for the light of my eyes, it also is gone from me.
  15. The brightness of the eye or eyes.
    • Shakespeare
      He seemed to find his way without his eyes; / For out o'door he went without their helps, / And, to the last, bended their light on me.
  16. A traffic light, or, by extension, an intersection controlled by one.
    To get to our house, turn right at the third light.
SynonymsEdit
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 2Edit

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

VerbEdit

light (third-person singular simple present lights, present participle lighting, simple past and past participle lit or lighted)

  1. (transitive) To start (a fire).
    We lit the fire to get some heat.
  2. (transitive) To set fire to; to set burning; to kindle.
    She lit her last match.
    • Hakewill
      if a thousand candles be all lighted from one
    • Addison
      Absence might cure it, or a second mistress / Light up another flame, and put out this.
  3. (transitive) To illuminate.
    I used my torch to light the way home through the woods in the night.
    • F. Harrison
      One hundred years ago, to have lit this theatre as brilliantly as it is now lighted would have cost, I suppose, fifty pounds.
    • Dryden
      The Sun has set, and Vesper, to supply / His absent beams, has lighted up the sky.
  4. (intransitive) To become ignited; to take fire.
    This soggy match will not light.
  5. To attend or conduct with a light; to show the way to by means of a light.
    • Landor
      His bishops lead him forth, and light him on.
SynonymsEdit
AntonymsEdit
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 3Edit

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.

AdjectiveEdit

light (comparative lighter, superlative lightest)

  1. Having light.
    The room is light when the Sun shines through the window.
  2. Pale in colour.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      'Twas early June, the new grass was flourishing everywheres, the posies in the yard—peonies and such—in full bloom, the Sun was shining, and the water of the bay was blue, with light green streaks where the shoal showed.
    She had light skin.
  3. (of coffee) Served with extra milk or cream.
    I like my coffee light.
SynonymsEdit
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 4Edit

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 (laghu).

AdjectiveEdit

light (comparative lighter, superlative lightest)

  1. Of low weight; not heavy.
    My bag was much lighter once I had dropped off the books.
    • Addison
      These weights did not exert their natural gravity [] insomuch that I could not guess which was light or heavy whilst I held them in my hand.
  2. Lightly-built; designed for speed or small loads.
    We took a light aircraft down to the city.
  3. ​Gentle; having little force or momentum.
    This artist clearly had a light, flowing touch.
  4. Easy to endure or perform.
    light duties around the house
    • Dryden
      Light sufferings give us leisure to complain.
  5. Low in fat, calories, alcohol, salt, etc.
    This light beer still gets you drunk if you have enough of it.
  6. Unimportant, trivial, having little value or significance.
    I made some light comment, and we moved on.
  7. (rail transport, of a locomotive, usually with "run") travelling with no carriages, wagons attached
  8. (obsolete) Unchaste, wanton.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.i:
      Long after lay he musing at her mood, / Much grieu'd to thinke that gentle Dame so light, / For whose defence he was to shed his blood.
    • Shakespeare
      So do not you; for you are a light girl.
    • Shakespeare
      A light wife doth make a heavy husband.
  9. Not heavily armed; armed with light weapons.
    light troops; a troop of light horse
  10. Not encumbered; unembarrassed; clear of impediments; hence, active; nimble; swift.
    • Francis Bacon
      Unmarried men are best friends, best masters [] but not always best subjects, for they are light to run away.
  11. (dated) Easily influenced by trifling considerations; unsteady; unsettled; volatile.
    a light, vain person; a light mind
    • Tillotson
      There is no greater argument of a light and inconsiderate person than profanely to scoff at religion.
  12. Indulging in, or inclined to, levity; lacking dignity or solemnity; frivolous; airy.
    • Shakespeare
      Seneca can not be too heavy, nor Plautus too light.
    • Hawthorne
      specimens of New England humour laboriously light and lamentably mirthful
  13. Not quite sound or normal; somewhat impaired or deranged; dizzy; giddy.
    • Shakespeare
      Are his wits safe? Is he not light of brain?
  14. Not of the legal, standard, or usual weight; clipped; diminished.
    light coin
SynonymsEdit
AntonymsEdit
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

AdverbEdit

light (comparative lighter, superlative lightest)

  1. Carrying little.
    I prefer to travel light.

NounEdit

light (plural lights)

  1. (curling) A stone that is not thrown hard enough.

VerbEdit

light (third-person singular simple present lights, present participle lighting, simple past and past participle lighted)

  1. (nautical) To unload a ship, or to jettison material to make it lighter
  2. To lighten; to ease of a burden; to take off.
    • Spenser
      His mailèd habergeon she did undight, / And from his head his heavy burgonet did light.
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 5Edit

Old English līhtan

VerbEdit

light (third-person singular simple present lights, present participle lighting, simple past and past participle lit or lighted)

  1. To find by chance.
    I lit upon a rare book in a second-hand bookseller's.
  2. (archaic) To alight.
    She fell out of the window but luckily lit on her feet.
SynonymsEdit
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

StatisticsEdit


PortugueseEdit

AdjectiveEdit

light m, f (plural light; comparable)

  1. light (low in fat, calories, alcohol, salt, etc.)

SynonymsEdit


SpanishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From English light.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

light m, f singular & plural

  1. light (low in fat, calories, salt, alcohol, etc.)
  2. (of cigarettes) light (low in tar, nicotine and other noxious chemicals)
  3. (by extension) Lacking substance or seriousness; lite.

Usage notesEdit

  • As a foreign term with unassimilated spelling and pronunciation, light is usually rendered in italics in formal contexts or published writings.

ReferencesEdit