See also: Light

English edit

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Alternative forms edit

Pronunciation edit

Etymology 1 edit

 
A city illuminated by colorful artificial lighting at night

From Middle English light, liht, leoht, from Old English lēoht, from Proto-West Germanic *leuht, from Proto-Germanic *leuhtą, 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), Ancient Greek λευκός (leukós, white), and Persianرُخش(roxš).

Noun edit

light (countable and uncountable, plural lights)

  1. (physics, uncountable) Electromagnetic radiation in the wavelength range visible to the human eye (about 400–750 nanometers); visible light.
    As you can see, this spacious dining-room gets a lot of light in the mornings.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter V, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
      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, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC:
      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”, in 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.
    • 2016, VOA Learning English (public domain)
      When the studio light is on, I am recording my evening show.
      (file)
    1. (by extension) Infrared or ultraviolet radiation.
  2. (countable) A source of illumination.
    Put that light out!
    1. A lightbulb or similar light-emitting device, regardless of whether it is lit.
      We turned off all the lights and went to sleep.
      • 2016 August 7, Jameson Rich, “The Shirt Stays On”, in The New York Times[1], New York, N.Y.: The New York Times Company, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2022-11-25:
        The ceiling lights were off, but I knew the narrow light spilling from the lamp on my bureau would be enough for her to see the pale red marks on my chest, which had been fading for so long they had gone back to being shiny again.
    2. A traffic light, or (by extension) an intersection controlled by traffic lights.
      To get to our house, turn right at the third light.
  3. (figurative) Spiritual or mental illumination; enlightenment, useful information.
    Can you throw any light on this problem?
  4. (in the plural, now rare) Facts; pieces of information; ideas, concepts.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, →OCLC:
      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.
  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.
    • 1692–1717, Robert South, Twelve Sermons Preached upon Several Occasions, 6th edition, volumes (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: [] J[ames] Bettenham, for Jonah Bowyer, [], published 1727, →OCLC:
      , "Why Christ's Doctrine was Rejected by the Jews"
      Frequent consideration of a thing [] shows it in its several lights and various ways of appearance.
    • 1943 November – 1944 February (date written; published 1945 August 17), George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], Animal Farm [], London: Secker & Warburg, published May 1962, →OCLC:
      Now if there was one thing that the animals were completely certain of, it was that they did not want Jones back. When it was put to them in this light, they had no more to say.
  8. A flame or something used to create fire.
    1. (slang) A cigarette lighter.
      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.
  10. A window in architecture, carriage design, or motor car design: either the opening itself or the window pane of glass that fills it, if any.
    This facade has eight south-facing lights.
    Hyponyms: backlight, sidelight, transom
  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.
  14. The power of perception by vision.
  15. The brightness of the eye or eyes.
Synonyms edit
Hypernyms edit
Hyponyms edit
forms of illumination (sense 2)
Derived terms edit
Descendants edit
  • Gulf Arabic: ⁧ليت(lēt)
  • Farefare: laatɩ
  • Sranan Tongo: leti
Translations edit

References edit

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English lighten, lihten, from Old English līehtan (to light, to shine), from Proto-Germanic *liuhtijaną, from *leuhtą +‎ *-janą. Cognate with German leuchten (to shine).

Verb edit

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

  1. (transitive) To start (a fire).
    Synonym: set
    Antonyms: extinguish, put out, quench
    We lit the fire to get some heat.
  2. (transitive) To set fire to; to set burning.
    Synonyms: ignite, kindle, conflagrate
    Antonyms: extinguish, put out, quench
    She lit her last match.
    • 1627, G[eorge] H[akewill], An Apologie of the Power and Prouidence of God in the Gouernment of the World. [], Oxford, Oxfordshire: [] Iohn Lichfield and William Turner, [], →OCLC:
      if a thousand candles be all lighted from one
  3. (transitive) To illuminate; to provide light for when it is dark.
    Synonyms: illuminate, light up
    I used my torch to light the way home through the woods in the night.
  4. (intransitive) To become ignited; to take fire.
    Synonyms: catch fire, ignite, conflagrate
    This soggy match will not light.
  5. To attend or conduct with a light; to show the way to by means of a light.
  6. (transitive, pinball) To make (a bonus) available to be collected by hitting a target, and thus light up the feature light corresponding to that bonus to indicate its availability.
    Light the extra ball by amassing 500 million points in the wizard mode.
Derived terms edit
Related terms edit
Translations edit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 3 edit

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 Saterland Frisian ljoacht (light), Dutch licht, German licht.

Adjective edit

light (comparative lighter, superlative lightest)

 
A light-skinned black person.
  1. Having light; bright; clear; not dark or obscure.
    The room is light when the Sun shines through the window.
    • 2023 March 22, Philip Haigh, “Five configuration stages to boost Manchester rail capacity”, in RAIL, number 979, page 31:
      Historic England explained the listing: "The station's unique design employs a high level of sophistication and innovation through its use of conoid shells supported on a cruck-like frame, which not only create a dramatic aesthetic form, but endow the building with a light and spacious interior."
  2. Pale or whitish in color; highly luminous and more or less deficient in chroma.
    She had light skin.
    • 1913, Joseph C[rosby] Lincoln, chapter I, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients, New York, N.Y., London: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, →OCLC:
      '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.
  3. (of coffee) Served with extra milk or cream.
    I like my coffee light.
Synonyms edit
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Translations edit

Etymology 4 edit

From Old English lēoht, līht, from Proto-West Germanic *lį̄ht, from Proto-Germanic *linhtaz or *līhtaz, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁lengʷʰ- (light).

Cognate with Dutch licht, German leicht, Swedish lätt, Norwegian lett, Albanian lehtë, Latin levis, Russian лёгкий (ljóxkij), Lithuanian lengvas, Sanskrit लघु (laghu), Persianلاغر⁩ (lāghar).

Adjective edit

light (comparative lighter, superlative lightest)

  1. Having little or relatively little actual weight; not cumbrous or unwieldy.
    a light load ; a lighter backpack after having removed the books ; light weapons
    • 1712 September 1 (Gregorian calendar), [Joseph Addison; Richard Steele et al.], “THURSDAY, August 21, 1712”, in The Spectator, number 463; republished in Alexander Chalmers, editor, The Spectator; a New Edition, [], volume V, New York, N.Y.: D[aniel] Appleton & Company, 1853, →OCLC:
      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.
      The spelling has been modernized.
  2. Having little weight as compared with bulk; of little density or specific gravity.
    feathers and cork are light ; oil is lighter than water
  3. Of short or insufficient weight; weighing less than the legal, standard, or proper amount; clipped or diminished.
    to issue light coin
  4. Lacking that which burdens or makes heavy.
    1. Free from burden or impediment; unencumbered.
    2. Lightly built; typically designed for speed or small loads.
      a light aircraft ; a light tank
    3. (military) Not heavily armed; armed with light weapons.
      light infantry; a troop of light horse
    4. (nautical, of a ship) Riding high because of no cargo; by extension, pertaining to a ship which is light.
      if a ship is light or partially loaded ; the light draft of a vessel, or its light displacement
    5. (rail transport, of a locomotive or consist of locomotives) Without any piece of equipment attached or attached only to a caboose.
      the light locomotives ; a locomotive may be moved light
      • 1951 January, R. A. H. Weight, “A Railway Recorder in Essex and Hertfordshire”, in Railway Magazine, page 44:
        On that August Thursday afternoon, there was little freight traffic; a large "K3" Mogul went down with a short, fast goods, and a W.D. 2-8-0 proceeded northward light.
    6. With low viscosity.
  5. (cooking) Not heavy or soggy; spongy; well raised.
    a light bread ; sponge cake is a light cake
  6. Low in fat, calories, alcohol, salt, etc.
    This light beer still gets you drunk if you have enough of it.
  7. Slight, not forceful or intense; small in amount or intensity.
    a light drizzle; a light rain was falling; a light snow set in
  8. Gentle; having little force or momentum.
    This artist clearly had a light, flowing touch.
  9. Easy to endure or perform.
    light duties around the house
    • 1697, Virgil, “Palamon and Arcite”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC:
      Light sufferings give us leisure to complain.
  10. Unimportant, trivial, having little value or significance.
    I made some light comment, and we moved on.
    • 1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide:
      He had drunk more than was fit for him, and he was singing some light song, when he saw approaching, as he said, the pale horse mentioned in the Revelation, with Death seated as the rider.
  11. (obsolete) Unchaste, wanton.
  12. Not encumbered; unembarrassed; clear of impediments; hence, active; nimble; swift.
    • 1625, Francis [Bacon], “Of Marriage and Single Life”, in The Essayes [], 3rd edition, London: [] Iohn Haviland for Hanna Barret, →OCLC:
      Unmarried men are best friends, best masters [] but not always best subjects, for they are light to run away.
  13. (dated) Easily influenced by trifling considerations; unsteady; unsettled; volatile.
    a light, vain person; a light mind
    • 1633, John Tillotson, The Wisdom of being Religious:
      There is no greater argument of a light and inconsiderate person than profanely to scoff at religion.
  14. Indulging in, or inclined to, levity; lacking dignity or solemnity; frivolous; airy.
    Ogden Nash was a writer of light verse.
  15. Not quite sound or normal; somewhat impaired or deranged; dizzy; giddy.
  16. Easily interrupted by stimulation.
    light sleep; light anesthesia
  17. Cheerful.
    • 1980, “ア・グッド・デイ [A Good Day]”, Yoko Narahashi (lyrics), Yukihide Takekawa (music), performed by Godiego:
      I wish you a good day, and you'll find a way
      To make your spirits light & gay
Synonyms edit
Antonyms edit
Derived terms edit
Translations edit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Adverb edit

light (comparative lighter, superlative lightest)

  1. Carrying little.
    I prefer to travel light.
Derived terms edit
Related terms edit
Translations edit

Noun edit

light (plural lights)

  1. (curling) A stone that is not thrown hard enough.
  2. See lights (lungs).
  3. (Australia, uncountable) A low-alcohol lager.
    • 2010, Peter Corris, Torn Apart, Allen and Unwin, page 117:
      We crossed to the pub on the corner of Carlisle Street and I ordered two schooners of old for him and one of light for me.
  4. (military, historical) A member of the light cavalry.

Verb edit

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.
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

Etymology 5 edit

From Middle English lighten, from Old English līhtan (to relieve), from Proto-West Germanic *lį̄htijan, from Proto-Germanic *linhtijaną, from *linhtaz (light).

Verb edit

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

  1. To find by chance.
    I lit upon a rare book in a second-hand bookseller's.
  2. To stop upon (of eyes or a glance); to notice
  3. (archaic) To alight; to land or come down.
    She fell out of the window but luckily lit on her feet.
    • 1719 May 6 (Gregorian calendar), [Daniel Defoe], The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, [], 3rd edition, London: [] W[illiam] Taylor [], published 1719, →OCLC, pages 356–357:
      [W]e knew not what Courſe to take, but the Creatures [wolves] reſolv'd us ſoon, for they gather'd about us preſently, in Hopes of Prey, [] I drew my little Troop in among thoſe Trees, and placing our ſelves in a Line, behind one long Tree, I advis'd them all to light, and keeping that Tree before us, for a Breaſt-Work, to ſtand in a Triangle, or three Fronts, encloſing our Horſes in the Center.
    • 1769, Benjamin Blayney (Ed.), King James Bible (Genesis 25:64)
      And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.
    • 1885, Theodore Roosevelt, Hunting Trips of a Ranchman:
      Some kinds of ducks in lighting strike the water with their tails first, and skitter along the surface for a few feet before settling down.
    • 1957, Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel), The Cat in the Hat
      And our fish came down, too. He fell into a pot! He said, "Do I like this? Oh, no! I do not. This is not a good game," Said our fish as he lit.
Synonyms edit
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Translations edit

French edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from English light.

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

light (invariable)

  1. light, slight
  2. (of food) diet, low-fat, fat-free, light

Middle English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Old English lēoht (light, daylight; power of vision; luminary; world), from Proto-West Germanic *leuht, from Proto-Germanic *leuhtą (light), from Proto-Indo-European *lewktom, from the root *lewk- (light).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

light (plural lightes)

  1. The radiation which allows for vision by brightening objects and colours.
  2. Illumination in general, or any source thereof.
  3. The metaphorical clarity resulting from philosophical or religious ideals such as truth, wisdom, righteousness, etc.
  4. Mental or spiritual acuity; the presence of life in a living being.
  5. (chemistry) The property of lustre; how shiny a substance is.
  6. (religion) Heavenly radiance; glory
  7. (architecture) an opening in a wall allowing for the transmission of light; a window.
  8. The sense of sight.
  9. The state of being easily seen.

Descendants edit

References edit

Portuguese edit

Etymology edit

Unadapted borrowing from English light. Doublet of leve, léu, and ligeiro.

Pronunciation edit

 
  • (Brazil) IPA(key): /ˈlaj.t͡ʃi/ [ˈlaɪ̯.t͡ʃi], (careful pronunciation) /ˈlajt/ [ˈlaɪ̯t]
    • (Southern Brazil) IPA(key): /ˈlaj.te/ [ˈlaɪ̯.te], (careful pronunciation) /ˈlajt/ [ˈlaɪ̯t]

Adjective edit

light (invariable)

  1. (of food) light (low in fat, calories, alcohol, salt or other undesirable substances)

Spanish edit

Etymology edit

Unadapted borrowing from English light.

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

light (invariable)

  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 notes edit

According to Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) prescriptions, unadapted foreign words should be written in italics in a text printed in roman type, and vice versa, and in quotation marks in a manuscript text or when italics are not available. In practice, this RAE prescription is not always followed.

Further reading edit