EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English slight (bad, of poor quality, unimportant, trivial, slender, slim, smooth, level), from Old English sliht (smooth, level), from Proto-Germanic *slihtaz (slippery, flat, level, plain), related to English slick. Cognate with Scots slicht (bad, of poor quality), West Frisian sljocht (smooth, level, plain, simple), Dutch slecht (bad), Low German slecht (bad), German schlecht (bad) and schlicht (plain, artless, natural), Danish slet (bad, evil, poor, nasty, wrong), Swedish slät (smooth), Norwegian slett (even), Icelandic sléttur (even, smooth, level).

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

slight (comparative slighter, superlative slightest)

  1. Small
    1. gentle or weak, not aggressive or powerful
      • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 2, in A Cuckoo in the Nest[1]:
        Mother very rightly resented the slightest hint of condescension. She considered that the exclusiveness of Peter's circle was due not to its distinction, but to the fact that it was an inner Babylon of prodigality and whoredom, [] .
      give it a slight kick
      a slight hint of cinnamon
      a slight effort
      a slight (i.e. not convincing) argument
    2. not thorough; superficial
      make a slight examination
    3. trifling; unimportant; insignificant
      we made a slight mistake
      a slight pain
    4. (archaic or rare) not far away in space or time
      in the slight future
    Synonyms: ignorable, meaningless, negligible, tiny; see also Thesaurus:tiny, Thesaurus:insignificant
  2. of slender build
    a slight but graceful woman
    • 1822, Sir Walter Scott, Peveril of the Peak
      his own figure, which was formerly so slight
    Synonyms: lithe, svelte, willowy; see also Thesaurus:slender
  3. (regional) Even, smooth or level
    A slight stone
    Synonyms: flat, glassy, slick; see also Thesaurus:smooth
  4. (especially said of the sea) still; with little or no movement on the surface
    The sea was slight and calm
  5. (obsolete) Foolish; silly; not intellectual.
    • 1859, Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Canto 1, lines 781-784:
      But no beast ever was so slight,
      For man, as for his god, to fight;
      They have more wit, alas! and know
      Themselves and us better than so.
    Synonyms: daft, fatuous, soft in the head; see also Thesaurus:foolish
  6. (regional, obsolete) Bad, of poor quality.
    • 1889 (first published), George Washington, Writings
      we frequently have slight Goods and sometimes old and unsaleable Articles
    Synonyms: flimsy, lousy, shoddy; see also Thesaurus:low-quality
  7. (dated) Slighting; treating with disdain.
    • 1863, Sheridan Le Fanu, The House by the Churchyard:
      This slight way of treating both his book and his ancestors nettled little Puddock – who never himself took a liberty, and expected similar treatment – but he knew Sturk, the nature of the beast, and he only bowed grandly []
    Synonyms: contemptuous, disdainful, scornful; see also Thesaurus:disdainful

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

slight (third-person singular simple present slights, present participle slighting, simple past and past participle slighted)

  1. (transitive) To treat as unimportant or not worthy of attention; to make light of.
    • 1782, William Cowper, Truth
      the wretch who slights the bounty of the skies
  2. (transitive) To give lesser weight or importance to.
    • 1915, Josephine Turck Baker, Correct English (volumes 16-17, page 182)
      Incontiguously (accent on tig; the rest of the syllables slighted) means in an incontiguous manner.
    Synonym: belittle
    Antonyms: respect, value, esteem
  3. (transitive) To treat with disdain or neglect, usually out of prejudice, hatred, or jealousy; to ignore disrespectfully.
    • 1833, Mary Shelley, The Mortal Immortal
      Though true of heart, she was somewhat of a coquette in manner; and I was jealous as a Turk. She slighted me in a thousand ways, yet would never acknowledge herself to be in the wrong. She would drive me mad with anger, and then force me to beg her pardon.
    Synonyms: contemn, despise
    Antonyms: respect, honor
  4. (intransitive) To act negligently or carelessly. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  5. (transitive, military, of a fortification) To render no longer defensible by full or partial demolition.
  6. (transitive) To make even or level.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Hexham to this entry?)
  7. (transitive) To throw heedlessly.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

slight (plural slights)

  1. The act of slighting; a deliberate act of neglect or discourtesy.
    Synonyms: ignoring, neglect, belittlement
    Antonym: respect
    • 1793, Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
      Never use a slighting expression to her, even in jest; for slights in jest, after frequent bandyings, are apt to end in angry earnest.
    • 1997, Alanis Morissette (lyrics and music), “Uninvited”, performed by Alanis Morissette:
      But you, you're not allowed / You're uninvited / An unfortunate slight
  2. (obsolete) Sleight.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

Further readingEdit

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for slight in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

AnagramsEdit


Middle EnglishEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Old English sliht, from Proto-Germanic *slihtaz.

Alternative formsEdit

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

slight

  1. Level, even, smooth; having no bumps or lumps.
  2. (rare) Of little importance or relevance.
  3. (rare) Slim, narrow, skinny; of little breadth.
  4. (rare) Badly made, poorly-built, or low-quality.
DescendantsEdit
  • English: slight
  • Scots: slicht
  • Yola: sleight
ReferencesEdit

Etymology 2Edit

NounEdit

slight

  1. Alternative form of sleight

AdjectiveEdit

slight

  1. Alternative form of sleight