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light Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun (physics) electromagnetic radiation that can produce a visual sensation
    visible light; visible radiation.
    • the light was filtered through a soft glass window
  2. noun any device serving as a source of illumination
    light source.
    • he stopped the car and turned off the lights
  3. noun a particular perspective or aspect of a situation
    • although he saw it in a different light, he still did not understand
  4. noun the quality of being luminous; emitting or reflecting light
    luminance; brightness; luminosity; luminousness; brightness level.
    • its luminosity is measured relative to that of our sun
  5. noun an illuminated area
    • he stepped into the light
  6. noun a condition of spiritual awareness; divine illumination
    illumination.
    • follow God's light
  7. noun the visual effect of illumination on objects or scenes as created in pictures
    lightness.
    • he could paint the lightest light and the darkest dark
  8. noun a person regarded very fondly
    • the light of my life
  9. noun having abundant light or illumination
    lighting.
    • they played as long as it was light
    • as long as the lighting was good
  10. noun mental understanding as an enlightening experience
    • he finally saw the light
    • can you shed light on this problem?
  11. noun merriment expressed by a brightness or gleam or animation of countenance
    sparkle; spark; twinkle.
    • he had a sparkle in his eye
    • there's a perpetual twinkle in his eyes
  12. noun public awareness
    • it brought the scandal to light
  13. noun a divine presence believed by Quakers to enlighten and guide the soul
    Christ Within; Light Within; Inner Light.
  14. noun a visual warning signal
    • they saw the light of the beacon
    • there was a light at every corner
  15. noun a device for lighting or igniting fuel or charges or fires
    ignitor; lighter; igniter.
    • do you have a light?
  16. verb make lighter or brighter
    illuminate; illumine; light up; illume.
    • This lamp lightens the room a bit
  17. verb begin to smoke
    fire up; light up.
    • After the meal, some of the diners lit up
  18. verb to come to rest, settle
    alight; perch.
    • Misfortune lighted upon him
  19. verb cause to start burning; subject to fire or great heat
    ignite.
    • Great heat can ignite almost any dry matter
    • Light a cigarette
  20. verb fall to somebody by assignment or lot
    fall.
    • The task fell to me
    • It fell to me to notify the parents of the victims
  21. verb alight from (a horse)
    dismount; unhorse; get off; get down.
  22. adjective of comparatively little physical weight or density
    • a light load
    • magnesium is a light metal--having a specific gravity of 1.74 at 20 degrees C
  23. adjective (used of color) having a relatively small amount of coloring agent
    light-colored.
    • light blue
    • light colors such as pastels
    • a light-colored powder
  24. adjective of the military or industry; using (or being) relatively small or light arms or equipment
    • light infantry
    • light cavalry
    • light industry
    • light weapons
  25. adjective not great in degree or quantity or number
    • a light sentence
    • a light accent
    • casualties were light
    • light snow was falling
    • light misty rain
    • light smoke from the chimney
  26. adjective psychologically light; especially free from sadness or troubles
    • a light heart
  27. adjective characterized by or emitting light
    • a room that is light when the shutters are open
    • the inside of the house was airy and light
  28. adjective satellite (used of vowels or syllables) pronounced with little or no stress
    unaccented; weak.
    • a syllable that ends in a short vowel is a light syllable
    • a weak stress on the second syllable
  29. adjective satellite easily assimilated in the alimentary canal; not rich or heavily seasoned
    • a light diet
  30. adjective satellite (used of soil) loose and large-grained in consistency
    • light soil
  31. adjective satellite (of sound or color) free from anything that dulls or dims
    clear; unclouded; clean.
    • efforts to obtain a clean bass in orchestral recordings
    • clear laughter like a waterfall
    • clear reds and blues
    • a light lilting voice like a silver bell
  32. adjective satellite moving easily and quickly; nimble
    lightsome; tripping.
    • the dancer was light and graceful
    • a lightsome buoyant step
    • walked with a light tripping step
  33. adjective satellite demanding little effort; not burdensome
    • light housework
    • light exercise
  34. adjective of little intensity or power or force
    • the light touch of her fingers
    • a light breeze
  35. adjective (physics, chemistry) not having atomic weight greater than average
    • light water is ordinary water
  36. adjective satellite weak and likely to lose consciousness
    swooning; faint; light-headed; lightheaded.
    • suddenly felt faint from the pain
    • was sick and faint from hunger
    • felt light in the head
    • a swooning fit
    • light-headed with wine
    • light-headed from lack of sleep
  37. adjective satellite very thin and insubstantial
    • thin paper
    • light summer dresses
  38. adjective satellite marked by temperance in indulgence
    abstemious.
    • abstemious with the use of adverbs
    • a light eater
    • a light smoker
    • ate a light supper
  39. adjective satellite less than the correct or legal or full amount often deliberately so
    scant; short.
    • a light pound
    • a scant cup of sugar
    • regularly gives short weight
  40. adjective satellite having little importance
    • losing his job was no light matter
  41. adjective satellite intended primarily as entertainment; not serious or profound
    • light verse
    • a light comedy
  42. adjective satellite silly or trivial
    idle.
    • idle pleasure
    • light banter
    • light idle chatter
  43. adjective satellite designed for ease of movement or to carry little weight
    • light aircraft
    • a light truck
  44. adjective satellite having relatively few calories
    lite; low-cal; calorie-free.
    • diet cola
    • light (or lite) beer
    • lite (or light) mayonnaise
    • a low-cal diet
  45. adjective satellite (of sleep) easily disturbed
    wakeful.
    • in a light doze
    • a light sleeper
    • a restless wakeful night
  46. adjective satellite casual and unrestrained in sexual behavior
    sluttish; wanton; promiscuous; loose; easy.
    • her easy virtue
    • he was told to avoid loose (or light) women
    • wanton behavior
  47. adverb with few burdens
    lightly.
    • experienced travellers travel light
WordNet

Light noun
Etymology
OE.light, liht, AS. leót; akin to OS. lioht, D. & G. licht, OHG. lioht, Goth. liuhap, Icel. ljs, L. lux light, lucere to shine, Gr. white, Skr. ruc to shine. . Cf. Lucid, Lunar, Luminous, Lynx.
Definitions
  1. That agent, force, or action in nature by the operation of which upon the organs of sight, objects are rendered visible or luminous. Light was regarded formerly as consisting of material particles, or corpuscules, sent off in all directions from luminous bodies, and traversing space, in right lines, with the known velocity of about 186,300 miles per second; but it is now generally understood to consist, not in any actual transmission of particles or substance, but in the propagation of vibrations or undulations in a subtile, elastic medium, or ether, assumed to pervade all space, and to be thus set in vibratory motion by the action of luminous bodies, as the atmosphere is by sonorous bodies. This view of the nature of light is known as the undulatory or wave theory; the other, advocated by Newton (but long since abandoned), as the corpuscular, emission, or Newtonian theory. A more recent theory makes light to consist in electrical oscillations, and is known as the electro-magnetic theory of light.
  2. That which furnishes, or is a source of, light, as the sun, a star, a candle, a lighthouse, etc.
    Then he called for a light, and sprang in. Acts xvi. 29.
    And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. Gen. i. 16.
  3. The time during which the light of the sun is visible; day; especially, the dawn of day.
    The murderer, rising with the light, killeth the poor and needy. Job xxiv. 14.
  4. The brightness of the eye or eyes.
    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. Shak.
  5. The medium through which light is admitted, as a window, or window pane; a skylight; in architecture, one of the compartments of a window made by a mullion or mullions.
    There were windows in three rows, and light was against light in three ranks. I Kings vii.4.
  6. Life; existence.
    O, spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born ! Pope.
  7. Open view; a visible state or condition; public observation; publicity.
    The duke yet would have dark deeds darkly answered; he would never bring them to light. Shak.
  8. The power of perception by vision.
    My strength faileth me; as for the light of my eyes, it also is gone from me. Ps. xxxviii. 10.
  9. That which illumines or makes clear to the mind; mental or spiritual illumination; enlightenment; knowledge; information.
    He shall never know That I had any light of this from thee. Shak.
  10. Prosperity; happiness; joy; felicity.
    Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall spring forth speedily. Is. lviii. 8.
  11. (Paint.) The manner in which the light strikes upon 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. Cf. Chiaroscuro.
  12. Appearance due to the particular facts and circumstances presented to view; point of view; as, to state things fairly and put them in the right light.
    Frequent consideration of a thing . . . shows it in its several lights and various ways of appearance. South.
  13. One who is conspicuous or noteworthy; a model or example; as, the lights of the age or of antiquity.
    Joan of Are, A light of ancient France. Tennyson.
  14. (Pyrotech.) A firework made by filling a case with a substance which burns brilliantly with a white or colored flame; as, a Bengal light. Light is used figuratively to denote that which resembles physical light in any respect, as illuminating, benefiting, enlightening, or enlivening mankind.
Light adjective
Etymology
AS. leóht. See Light, n.
Wordforms
comparative Lighter superlative Lightest
Definitions
  1. Having light; not dark or obscure; bright; clear; as, the apartment is light.
  2. White or whitish; not intense or very marked; not of a deep shade; moderately colored; as, a light color; a light brown; a light complexion.
Light transitive verb
Etymology
AS. lhtan, lihtan, to shine. . See Light, n.
Wordforms
imperfect & past participle Lighted or Lit (); present participle & verbal noun Lighting
Definitions
  1. To set fire to; to cause to burn; to set burning; to ignite; to kindle; as, to light a candle or lamp; to light the gas; -- sometimes with up.
    If a thousand candles be all lighted from one. Hakewill.
    And the largest lamp is lit. Macaulay.
    Absence might cure it, or a second mistress Light up another flame, and put out this. Addison.
  2. To give light to; to illuminate; to fill with light; to spread over with light; -- often with up.
    Ah, hopeless, lasting flames I like those that burn To light the dead. Pope.
    One hundred years ago, to have lit this theater as brilliantly as it is now lighted would have cost, I suppose, fifty pounds. F. Harrison.
    The sun has set, and Vesper, to supply His absent beams, has lighted up the sky. Dryden.
  3. To attend or conduct with a light; to show the way to by means of a light.
    His bishops lead him forth, and light him on. Landor.
Light intransitive verb
Definitions
  1. To become ignited; to take fire; as, the match will not light.
  2. To be illuminated; to receive light; to brighten; -- with up; as, the room light up very well.
Light adjective
Etymology
OE. light, liht, AS. liht, leóht; akin to D. ligt, G. leicht, OHG.lihti, Icel. lttr, Dan. let, Sw. lätt, Goth. leihts, and perh. to L. levis (cf. Levity), Gr. small, Skr. laghu light. .
Wordforms
comparative Lighted ; superlative Lightest
Definitions
  1. Having little, or comparatively little, weight; not tending to be the center of gravity with force; not heavy.
    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. Addison.
  2. Not burdensome; easy to be lifted, borne, or carried by physical strength; as, a light burden, or load.
    Ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matt. xi. 29. 30.
  3. Easy to be endured or performed; not severe; not difficult; as, a light affliction or task. Chaucer.
    Light sufferings give us leisure to complain. Dryden.
  4. Easy to be digested; not oppressive to the stomach; as, light food; also, containing little nutriment.
  5. Not heavily armed; armed with light weapons; as, light troops; a troop of light horse.
  6. Not encumbered; unembarrassed; clear of impediments; hence, active; nimble; swift.
    Unmarried men are best friends, best masters . . . but not always best subjects, for they are light to run away. Bacon.
  7. Not heavily burdened; not deeply laden; not sufficiently ballasted; as, the ship returned light.
  8. Slight; not important; as, a light error. Shak.
  9. Well leavened; not heavy; as, light bread.
  10. Not copious or heavy; not dense; not inconsiderable; as, a light rain; a light snow; light vapors.
  11. Not strong or violent; moderate; as, a light wind.
  12. Not pressing heavily or hard upon; hence, having an easy graceful manner; delicate; as, a light touch; a light style of execution.
  13. Easy to admit influence; inconsiderate; easily influenced by trifling considerations; unsteady; unsettled; volatile; as, a light, vain person; a light mind.
    There is no greater argument of a light and inconsiderate person than profanely to scoff at religion. Tillotson.
  14. Indulging in, or inclined to, levity; wanting dignity or solemnity; trifling; gay; frivolous; airy; unsubstantial.
    Seneca can not be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. Shak.
    Specimens of New England humor laboriously light and lamentably mirthful. Hawthorne.
  15. Not quite sound or normal; somewhat impaired or deranged; dizzy; giddy.
    Are his wits safe? Is he not light of brain ? Shak.
  16. Easily bestowed; inconsiderately rendered.
    To a fair semblance doth light annex. Spenser.
  17. Wanton; unchaste; as, a woman of light character.
    A light wife doth make a heavy husband. Shak.
  18. Not of the legal, standard, or usual weight; clipped; diminished; as, light coin.
  19. Loose; sandy; easily pulverized; as, a light soil.
Light adverb
Definitions
  1. Lightly; cheaply. Hooker.
Light transitive verb
Etymology
See Light not heavy, and cf. Light to alight, and Lighten to make less heavy.
Definitions
  1. To lighten; to ease of a burden; to take off. Obs.
    From his head the heavy burgonet did light. Spenser.
Light intransitive verb
Etymology
AS. lihtan to alight orig., to relieve (a horse) of the rider's burden, to make less heavy, fr. liht light. See Light not heavy, and cf. Alight, Lighten to make light.
Wordforms
imperfect & past participle LightedLit (); present participle & verbal noun Lighting
Definitions
  1. To dismount; to descend, as from a horse or carriage; to alight; -- with from, off, on, upon, at, in.
    When she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. Gen. xxiv. 64.
    Slowly rode across a withered heath, And lighted at a ruined inn. Tennyson.
  2. To feel light; to be made happy. Obs.
    It made all their hearts to light. Chaucer.
  3. To descend from flight, and rest, perch, or settle, as a bird or insect.
    [The bee] lights on that, and this, and tasteth all. Sir. J. Davies.
    On the tree tops a crested peacock lit. Tennyson.
  4. To come down suddenly and forcibly; to fall; -- with on or upon.
    On me, me only, as the source and spring Of all corruption, all the blame light due. Milton.
  5. To come by chance; to happen; -- with on or upon; formerly with into.
    The several degrees of vision, which the assistance of glasses (casually at first lit on) has taught us to conceive. Locke.
    They shall light into atheistical company. South.
    And here we lit on Aunt Elizabeth, And Lilia with the rest. Tennyson.

Webster 1913


"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

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