Definition of


  1. (noun, phenomenon) (physics) electromagnetic radiation that can produce a visual sensation
  2. (noun, artifact) any device serving as a source of illumination
  3. (noun, cognition) a particular perspective or aspect of a situation
  4. (noun, attribute) the quality of being luminous; emitting or reflecting light
  5. (noun, location) an illuminated area
  6. (noun, state) a condition of spiritual awareness; divine illumination
  7. (noun, attribute) the visual effect of illumination on objects or scenes as created in pictures
  8. (noun, person) a person regarded very fondly
  9. (noun, state) having abundant light or illumination
    as long as the lighting was good
  10. (noun, cognition) mental understanding as an enlightening experience
    can you shed light on this problem?
  11. (noun, attribute) merriment expressed by a brightness or gleam or animation of countenance
    there's a perpetual twinkle in his eyes
  12. (noun, cognition) public awareness
  13. (noun, motive) a divine presence believed by Quakers to enlighten and guide the soul
  14. (noun, communication) a visual warning signal
    there was a light at every corner
  15. (noun, artifact) a device for lighting or igniting fuel or charges or fires
  16. (verb, change) make lighter or brighter
  17. (verb, consumption) begin to smoke
  18. (verb, motion) to come to rest, settle
  19. (verb, weather) cause to start burning; subject to fire or great heat
    Light a cigarette
  20. (verb, possession) fall to somebody by assignment or lot
    It fell to me to notify the parents of the victims
  21. (verb, motion) alight from (a horse)
  22. (adj, all) of comparatively little physical weight or density
    magnesium is a light metal--having a specific gravity of 1.74 at 20 degrees C
  23. (adj, all) (used of color) having a relatively small amount of coloring agent
    light colors such as pastels
    a light-colored powder
  24. (adj, all) of the military or industry; using (or being) relatively small or light arms or equipment
    light cavalry
    light industry
    light weapons
  25. (adj, all) not great in degree or quantity or number
    a light accent
    casualties were light
    light snow was falling
    light misty rain
    light smoke from the chimney
  26. (adj, all) psychologically light; especially free from sadness or troubles
  27. (adj, all) characterized by or emitting light
    the inside of the house was airy and light
  28. (adj, all) (used of vowels or syllables) pronounced with little or no stress
    a weak stress on the second syllable
  29. (adj, all) easily assimilated in the alimentary canal; not rich or heavily seasoned
  30. (adj, all) (used of soil) loose and large-grained in consistency
  31. (adj, all) (of sound or color) free from anything that dulls or dims
    clear laughter like a waterfall
    clear reds and blues
    a light lilting voice like a silver bell
  32. (adj, all) moving easily and quickly; nimble
    a lightsome buoyant step
    walked with a light tripping step
  33. (adj, all) demanding little effort; not burdensome
    light exercise
  34. (adj, all) of little intensity or power or force
    a light breeze
  35. (adj, all) (physics, chemistry) not having atomic weight greater than average
  36. (adj, all) weak and likely to lose consciousness
    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. (adj, all) very thin and insubstantial
    light summer dresses
  38. (adj, all) marked by temperance in indulgence
    a light eater
    a light smoker
    ate a light supper
  39. (adj, all) less than the correct or legal or full amount often deliberately so
    a scant cup of sugar
    regularly gives short weight
  40. (adj, all) having little importance
  41. (adj, all) intended primarily as entertainment; not serious or profound
    a light comedy
  42. (adj, all) silly or trivial
    light banter
    light idle chatter
  43. (adj, all) designed for ease of movement or to carry little weight
    a light truck
  44. (adj, all) having relatively few calories
    light (or lite) beer
    lite (or light) mayonnaise
    a low-cal diet
  45. (adj, all) (of sleep) easily disturbed
    a light sleeper
    a restless wakeful night
  46. (adj, all) casual and unrestrained in sexual behavior
    he was told to avoid loose (or light) women
    wanton behavior
  47. (adv, all) with few burdens

via WordNet, Princeton University

Antonyms of Light

dark, heavy

Alternate forms of Light

Derivations: light, lighter, lightness

Hyponyms: anchor light, aura, aureole, beam, beam of light, blinker, brightness, candle flame, candlelight, cigar lighter, cigarette lighter, conflagrate, corona, counterglow, daylight, enkindle, fairy light, fire up, firelight, flare up, flasher, flood, flood lamp, floodlight, fluorescence, friar's lantern, friction match, fuse, fusee, fuze, fuzee, gaslight, gegenschein, gloriole, glory, glow, glowing, half-light, halo, headlamp, headlight, highlight, highlighting, houselights, ignis fatuus, illuminance, illumination, incandescence, inflame, irradiation, jack-o'-lantern, jacklight, kindle, lamplight, light, light beam, light up, lucifer, luminescence, match, meteor, moon, moonlight, moonshine, navigation light, night-light, nimbus, panel light, photoflood, pocket lighter, primer, priming, radiance, ray, ray of light, reignite, riding lamp, riding light, room light, running light, scintillation, sconce, searchlight, shaft, shaft of light, shooting star, sidelight, spotlight, starlight, stoplight, streamer, strip lighting, sun, sunlight, sunniness, sunshine, theater light, torch, torchlight, traffic light, traffic signal, twilight, will-o'-the-wisp

Hypernyms: actinic radiation, actinic ray, aspect, brainstorm, brainwave, burn, combust, come down, condition, descend, device, devolve, ethical motive, ethics, expression, face, facial expression, fall, friend, general knowledge, go down, ignite, illumination, insight, land, light, lighten, lighten up, look, morality, morals, pass, perspective, physical property, position, public knowledge, return, scene, set down, source of illumination, status, verve, view, visual property, visual signal, vitality

Origin of the word Light

  1. "brightness," O.E. leht, earlier leoht, from W.Gmc. *leukhtam (cf. O.Fris. liacht, M.Du. lucht, Ger. Licht), from PIE *leuk- "light, brightness" (cf. Skt. rocate "shines;" Arm. lois "light," lusin "moon;" Gk. leukos "bright, shining, white;" L. lucere "to shine," lux "light," lucidusmore
  2. "not heavy," from O.E. leoht, from P.Gmc. *lingkhtaz (cf. O.N. lettr, Swed. l?tt, O.Fris., M.Du. licht, Ger. leicht, Goth. leihts), from PIE base *le(n)gwh- "light, easy, agile, nimble" (cf. L. levis "light;" see lever). The notion in make light of (1520s) is of "unimportance." Alternative spelling litemore
  3. "touch down," from O.E. lihtan "to alight," from P.Gmc. *linkhtijan, lit. "to make light," from *lingkhtaz "not heavy" (see light (adj.)). Apparently the ground sense is "to dismount a horse, etc., and thus relieve it of one's weight." To light out "leave hastily" is 1870, from a nautical meaning "move out, move heavy objects," of unknown origin but … more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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