Meaning of LIGHT in English

LIGHT

I. BRIGHTNESS OR ILLUMINATION

/laɪt/

( lights, lighting, lit, lighted, lighter, lightest)

Frequency: The word is one of the 1500 most common words in English.

Note: The form 'lit' is the usual past tense and past participle, but the form 'lighted' is also used.

Please look at category 19 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.

1.

Light is the brightness that lets you see things. Light comes from sources such as the sun, moon, lamps, and fire.

Cracks of light filtered through the shutters...

It was difficult to see in the dim light.

...ultraviolet light.

≠ darkness

N-UNCOUNT : also the N

2.

A light is something such as an electric lamp which produces light.

The janitor comes round to turn the lights out...

...street lights.

N-COUNT

3.

You can use lights to refer to a set of traffic lights.

...the heavy city traffic with its endless delays at lights and crossings.

N-PLURAL

4.

If a place or object is lit by something, it has light shining on it.

It was dark and a giant moon lit the road so brightly you could see the landscape clearly...

The room was lit by only the one light...

The low sun lit the fortress walls with yellow light.

VERB : V n , V n , V n with n

5.

If it is light , the sun is providing light at the beginning or end of the day.

It was still light when we arrived at Lalong Creek...

...light summer evenings.

≠ dark

ADJ

6.

If a room or building is light , it has a lot of natural light in it, for example because it has large windows.

It is a light room with tall windows...

= bright

≠ dark

ADJ

• light‧ness

The dark green spare bedroom is in total contrast to the lightness of the large main bedroom.

N-UNCOUNT : usu with supp

7.

If you light something such as a cigarette or fire, or if it lights , it starts burning.

Stephen hunched down to light a cigarette...

If the charcoal does fail to light, use a special liquid spray and light it with a long taper.

...a lighted candle.

VERB : V n , V , V-ed

8.

If someone asks you for a light , they want a match or cigarette lighter so they can start smoking. ( INFORMAL )

Have you got a light anybody?

N-SING : a N

9.

If something is presented in a particular light , it is presented so that you think about it in a particular way or so that it appears to be of a particular nature.

He has worked hard in recent months to portray New York in a better light.

N-COUNT : with supp

10.

see also lighter , lighting , bright lights , night light , pilot light , red light

11.

If something comes to light or is brought to light , it becomes obvious or is made known to a lot of people.

The truth is unlikely to be brought to light by the promised enquiry.

PHRASE : V inflects

12.

If light dawns on you, you begin to understand something after a period of not being able to understand it.

At last the light dawned. He was going to marry Phylis!

PHRASE : V inflects

13.

If someone in authority gives you a green light , they give you permission to do something.

The food industry was given a green light to extend the use of these chemicals...

PHRASE : PHR after v , v-link PHR

14.

If something is possible in the light of particular information, it is only possible because you have this information.

In the light of this information it is now possible to identify a number of key issues.

PREP-PHRASE

15.

If someone sees the light , they finally realize something or change their attitude or way of behaving to a better one.

I saw the light and ditched him.

PHRASE : V inflects

16.

If you set light to something, you make it start burning. ( mainly BRIT; in AM, use set fire to )

They had poured fuel through the door of the flat and had then set light to it.

PHRASE : V inflects : PHR n

17.

To shed light on , throw light on , or cast light on something means to make it easier to understand, because more information is known about it.

A new approach offers an answer, and may shed light on an even bigger question.

= clarify

PHRASE : V inflects , PHR n

18.

When you talk about the light at the end of the tunnel , you are referring to the end of the difficult or unpleasant situation that you are in at the moment.

All I can do is tell her to hold on, that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

PHRASE

19.

all sweetness and light: see sweetness

II. NOT GREAT IN WEIGHT, AMOUNT, OR INTENSITY

/laɪt/

( lighter, lightest)

Frequency: The word is one of the 3000 most common words in English.

1.

Something that is light does not weigh very much, or weighs less than you would expect it to.

Modern tennis rackets are now apparently 20 per cent lighter.

...weight training with light weights...

Try to wear light, loose clothes.

≠ heavy

ADJ

• light‧ness

The toughness, lightness, strength, and elasticity of whalebone gave it a wide variety of uses.

N-UNCOUNT : usu with supp

2.

Something that is light is not very great in amount, degree, or intensity.

It’s a Sunday like any other with the usual light traffic in the city...

...a light breeze.

ADJ

• light‧ly

Put the onions in the pan and cook until lightly browned.

ADV : usu ADV -ed , also ADV after v

3.

Light equipment and machines are small and easily moved, especially because they are not heavy.

...a convoy of light armoured vehicles...

They used light machine guns and AK forty-sevens.

ADJ : ADJ n

4.

Something that is light is very pale in colour.

The walls are light in colour and covered in paper...

He is light haired with gray eyes.

≠ dark

ADJ

Light is also a combining form.

We know he has a light green van.

...a light blue box.

COMB in COLOUR

5.

A light sleep is one that is easily disturbed and in which you are often aware of the things around you. If you are a light sleeper, you are easily woken when you are asleep.

She had drifted into a light sleep...

She was usually a light sleeper.

≠ deep

ADJ : ADJ n

• light‧ly

He was dozing lightly in his chair.

ADV : ADV after v

6.

A light sound, for example someone’s voice, is pleasantly quiet.

The voice was sweet and light.

ADJ

7.

A light meal consists of a small amount of food, or of food that is easy to digest.

...a light, healthy lunch.

≠ heavy

ADJ

• light‧ly

She found it impossible to eat lightly.

ADV : ADV after v

8.

Light work does not involve much physical effort.

He was on the training field for some light work yesterday.

ADJ : usu ADJ n

9.

If you describe the result of an action or a punishment as light , you mean that it is less serious or severe than you expected.

She confessed her astonishment at her light sentence when her father visited her at the jail.

= lenient

ADJ

• light‧ly

One of the accused got off lightly in exchange for pleading guilty to withholding information from Congress.

ADV : ADV after v

10.

Movements and actions that are light are graceful or gentle and are done with very little force or effort.

Use a light touch when applying cream or make-up...

There was a light knock at the door.

= gentle

ADJ

• light‧ly

He kissed her lightly on the mouth...

Knead the dough very lightly.

ADV : ADV with v

• light‧ness

She danced with a grace and lightness that were breathtaking.

N-UNCOUNT

11.

see also lighter

III. UNIMPORTANT OR NOT SERIOUS

/laɪt/

( lighter, lightest)

Frequency: The word is one of the 3000 most common words in English.

Please look at category 5 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.

1.

If you describe things such as books, music, and films as light , you mean that they entertain you without making you think very deeply.

...light classical music.

...a light entertainment programme.

ADJ : usu ADJ n

2.

If you say something in a light way, you sound as if you think that something is not important or serious.

Talk to him in a friendly, light way about the relationship...

Let’s finish on a lighter note.

≠ serious

ADJ : usu ADJ n

• light‧ly

‘Once a detective, always a detective,’ he said lightly.

ADV : ADV after v

• light‧ness

‘I’m not an authority on them,’ Jessica said with forced lightness.

N-UNCOUNT

3.

If you say that something is not a light matter, you mean that it should be treated or considered as being important and serious.

It can be no light matter for the Home Office that so many young prisoners should have wanted to kill or injure themselves.

ADJ : usu with brd-neg

• light‧ly

His allegations cannot be lightly dismissed.

ADV : ADV with v

4.

If you make light of something, you treat it as though it is not serious or important, when in fact it is.

Roberts attempted to make light of his discomfort.

= play down

PHRASE : V inflects

5.

to make light work of: see work

see also lighter

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.