Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
n., adj. light•er, light•est, n.
1. something that makes things visible or affords illumination: All colors depend on light.
a. electromagnetic radiation to which the organs of sight react, ranging in wavelength from about 400 to 700 nanometers and propagated at a speed of 186,282 miles per second (299,972 km/sec).
b. electromagnetic radiation just beyond either end of the visible spectrum; ultraviolet or infrared radiation.
3. the sensation produced by stimulation of the organs of sight.
4. an illuminating agent or source, as the sun, a lamp, or a beacon.
5. the radiance or illumination from a particular source, as a candle or the sun.
6. the illumination from the sun; daylight, daybreak, or dawn.
8. a particular light or illumination in which an object seen takes on a certain appearance: viewing the portrait in dim light.
9. a device for or means of igniting, as a spark, flame, or match.
10. a traffic light.
11. the aspect in which a thing appears or is regarded: Try to look at the situation in a better light.
a. the effect of light falling on an object or scene as represented in a picture.
b. one of the brightest parts of a picture.
13. a gleam or sparkle, as in the eyes.
14. a measure or supply of light; illumination.
15. spiritual illumination or awareness; enlightenment.
16. a window, or a pane or compartment of a window.
17. mental insight; understanding.
18. lights, the information, ideas, or mental capacities possessed: to act according to one's lights.
19. a lighthouse.adj.
20. having light or illumination; bright; well-lighted.
21. pale, whitish, or not deep or dark in color: a light blue.
22. (of coffee or tea) containing enough milk or cream to produce a light color.v.t.
23. to set burning, as a candle, lamp, fire, match, or cigarette; kindle; ignite.
24. to turn or switch on (an electric light): to light the lamp.
25. to give light to; furnish with light or illumination: to light a room.
26. to make (an area or object) bright with or as if with light (often fol. by up).
27. to cause (the face, surroundings, etc.) to brighten, esp. with joy, animation, or the like (often fol. by up): A smile lit up her face.
28. to guide or conduct with a light.v.i.
29. to take fire or become kindled.
30. to ignite a cigar, cigarette, or pipe for purposes of smoking (usu. fol. by up).
31. to become illuminated when switched on: This table lamp won't light.
32. to become bright, as with light or color (often fol. by up): The sky lights up at sunrise.
33. to brighten with animation or joy, as the face or eyes (often fol. by up).Idioms:
1. bring to light, to discover or reveal.
2. come to light, to be discovered or revealed.
3. in (the) light of, taking into account; because of; considering.
4. see the light,
a. to come into existence or prominence.
b. to understand something at last.
[before 900; Middle English; Old English lēoht (n.), c. Old Saxon, Old High German lioht]
adj.andadv. -er, -est. adj.
1. of little weight; not heavy: a light load.
2. of little weight in proportion to bulk; of low specific gravity: a light metal.
3. of less than the usual or average weight: light clothing.
4. weighing less than the proper or standard amount.
5. of small amount, force, intensity, etc.: a light rain; light sleep.
6. using or applying little or slight pressure or force.
7. not distinct; faint.
8. easy to endure, deal with, or perform; not difficult or burdensome: light duties.
9. not very profound or serious; amusing or entertaining: light reading.
10. of little importance or consequence; trivial: The loss of a job is no light matter.
11. easily digested: light food.
12. not rich or heavy: a light snack.
13. (of alcoholic beverages)
a. not heavy or strong: a light apéritif.
b. (esp. of beer and wine) having fewer calories and usu. a lower alcohol content than the standard product.
14. spongy or well-leavened, as cake.
15. (of soil) containing much sand; porous or crumbly.
16. slender or delicate in form or appearance.
17. airy or buoyant in movement; nimble or agile: light on one's feet.
18. free from trouble, sorrow, or worry; cheerful; carefree: a light heart.
19. characterized by lack of proper seriousness; frivolous.
20. sexually promiscuous; loose.
21. easily swayed; changeable; volatile.
22. dizzy; slightly delirious.
23. (of soldiers) lightly armed or equipped: light cavalry.
24. having little or no cargo, encumbrance, or the like; not burdened: a light freighter.
25. adapted by small weight or slight build for small loads or swift movement: a light truck.
26. using small-scale machinery primarily for the production of consumer goods: light industry.
27. (of a syllable)adv.
28. without much or extra baggage: to travel light.
[before 900; Middle English; Old English lēoht, līht, c. Old Saxon līht-, Old High German līht, Old Norse lēttr, Gothic leihts]
v.i. light•ed or lit, light•ing.
1. to get down or descend, as from a horse or a vehicle.
2. to come to rest, as on a spot or thing; fall or settle upon; land: The bird lighted on the branch.
3. to come by chance; happen; hit (usu. fol. by on or upon): to light on a clue.
4. to settle on a place or person: The choice lighted upon our candidate.
5. light into, to attack physically or verbally.
6. light out, Informal. to depart quickly.
[before 900; Middle English lihten, Old English līhtan to make light, relieve of a weight; see light2]