/ laɪt; NAmE / noun , adjective , verb , adverb
FROM SUN / LAMPS
[ U ] the energy from the sun, a lamp, etc. that makes it possible to see things :
bright / dim light
a room with good natural light
in the fading light of a summer's evening
The light was beginning to fail (= it was beginning to get dark) .
She could just see by the light of the candle.
Bring it into the light so I can see it.
a beam / ray of light
The knife gleamed as it caught the light (= as the light shone on it) .
—see also first light
[ C ] a particular type of light with its own colour and qualities :
A cold grey light crept under the curtains.
—see also the Northern Lights
[ C ] a thing that produces light, especially an electric light :
to turn / switch the lights on / off
to turn out the light(s)
Suddenly all the lights went out .
It was an hour before the lights came on again.
to turn down / dim the lights
A light was still burning in the bedroom.
ceiling / wall lights
Keep going—the lights (= traffic lights) are green.
Check your car before you drive to make sure that your lights are working.
—see also brake light , green light , headlight , leading light , red light
[ sing. ] a match or device with which you can light a cigarette :
( BrE )
Have you got a light?
( NAmE , BrE )
Do you have a light?
EXPRESSION IN EYES
[ sing. ] an expression in sb's eyes which shows what they are thinking or feeling :
There was a soft light in her eyes as she looked at him.
[ U ] light colours in a picture, which contrast with darker ones :
the artist's use of light and shade
[ C ] ( architecture ) a window or an opening to allow light in :
—see also skylight
- according to sb's / sth's lights
- be / go out like a light
- be in sb's light
- bring sth to light
- cast / shed / throw light on sth
- come to light
- in a good, bad, favourable, etc. light
- in the light of sth
- the lights are on but nobody's home
- light at the end of the tunnel
- (the) light dawned (on sb)
- the light of sb's life
- run a (red) light | run the lights
- see the light
- see the light (of day)
- set light to sth
—more at bright adjective , cold adjective , hide verb , jump verb , sweetness
( light·er , light·est )
WITH NATURAL LIGHT
full of light; having the natural light of day :
We'll leave in the morning as soon as it's light.
It gets light at about 5 o'clock.
It was a light spacious apartment at the top of the building.
pale in colour :
light blue eyes
Lighter shades suit you best.
People with pale complexions should avoid wearing light colours.
easy to lift or move; not weighing very much :
Modern video cameras are light and easy to carry.
Carry this bag—it's the lightest.
He's lost a lot of weight—he's three kilos lighter than he was.
The little girl was as light as a feather .
The aluminium body is 12% lighter than if built with steel.
[ usually before noun ] of less than average or usual weight :
light summer clothes
Only light vehicles are allowed over the old bridge.
used with a unit of weight to say that sth weighs less than it should do :
The delivery of potatoes was several kilos light.
[ usually before noun ] gentle or delicate; not using much force :
She felt a light tap on her shoulder.
the sound of quick light footsteps
You only need to apply light pressure.
As a boxer, he was always light on his feet (= quick and elegant in the way he moved) .
WORK / EXERCISE
[ usually before noun ] easy to do; not making you tired :
After his accident he was moved to lighter work.
some light housework
You are probably well enough to take a little light exercise.
not great in amount, degree, etc. :
The forecast is for light showers.
Trading on the stock exchange was light today.
NOT SEVERE / SERIOUS
not severe :
He was convicted of assaulting a police officer but he got off with a light sentence .
entertaining rather than serious and not needing much mental effort :
light reading for the beach
a concert of light classical music
not serious :
She kept her tone light.
This programme looks at the lighter side of politics.
We all needed a little light relief at the end of a long day (= something amusing or entertaining that comes after sth serious or boring) .
On a lighter note , we end the news today with a story about a duck called Quackers.
[ usually before noun ] free from worry; cheerful :
I left the island with a light heart.
( of a meal ) small in quantity :
a light supper / snack.
I just want something light for lunch.
not containing much fat or not having a strong flavour and therefore easy for the stomach to digest :
Stick to a light diet.
—see also lite
containing a lot of air :
This pastry is so light.
low in alcohol :
a light beer
[ only before noun ] a person in a light sleep is easy to wake :
She drifted into a light sleep.
I've always been a light sleeper.
► light·ness noun [ U ]
—see also lightly
- be light on sth
- a light touch
- make light of sth
- make light work of sth
—more at hand noun
( lit , lit / lɪt; NAmE /
HELP NOTE : Lighted is also used for the past tense and past participle, especially in front of nouns.
START TO BURN
[ vn ] to make sth start to burn :
She lit a candle.
The candles were lit.
I put a lighted match to the letter and watched it burn.
[ v ] to start to burn :
The fire wouldn't light.
[ vn ] [ usually passive ] to give light to sth or to a place :
The stage was lit by bright spotlights.
well / badly lit streets
[ vn ] ( literary ) to guide sb with a light :
Our way was lit by a full moon.
- light on / upon sth
- light up | light sth up
see travel verb
light / lighting
The noun light has several different meanings and is used in many phrases. Lighting can only be used to talk about the type of light in a place or how lights are used to achieve a particular effect:
the lighting system
the movie's interesting lighting effects
The lighting at the disco was fantastic.
noun and verb adjective senses 1 to 2 Old English lēoht , līht (noun and adjective), līhtan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch licht and German Licht , from an Indo-European root shared by Greek leukos white and Latin lux light.
adjective senses 3 to 17 Old English lēocht , līht (noun), lēohte (adverb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch licht and German leicht , from an Indo-European root shared by lung .