light1 W1S1 [laıt] n
1¦(natural/artificial light)¦
2¦(lamp/electric light etc)¦
3¦(traffic control)¦
4¦(on a vehicle)¦
5 first light
6 be/stand in somebody's light
7¦(for a cigarette)¦
8¦(in somebody's eyes)¦
9 set light to something
10 come to light
11 throw/shed/cast light on something
12 in the light of something
13 in a new/different/bad etc light
14 see the light
15 see the light (of day)
16 light at the end of the tunnel
17 have your name in lights
18 go/be out like a light
19 a leading light in/of something
20 the light of somebody's life
[: Old English; Origin: leoht]
a) [U]
the energy from the sun, a flame, a lamp etc that allows you to see things
The morning light came streaming in through the windows.
She opened the curtains to let in the light.
It was late afternoon and the light was beginning to fade.
a pattern of light and shade
in/by the light of sth
Eveything looked grey in the dim light of the oil lamp.
We sat and talked by the light of the fire.
in/into the light
The man moved forward into the light.
good/strong/bright light
We'll need good light if we want to take the photographs outside.
poor/dim/fading light
In the fading light she could just make out the shape of a tractor.
soft/warm light
The valley was bathed in the soft light of dawn.
cold/harsh light
the cold, harsh light of a winter afternoon
blinding/dazzling light
(=extremely bright light)
We saw a sudden flash of blinding light.
a beam/ray/shaft of light
(=a thin line of light)
The clouds parted and a beam of light fell on the field.
a particular type of light, with its own particular colour, level of brightness etc
The colours look different in different lights.
a) an electric light
Ahead of us we could see the lights of the city.
We're having a mixture of wall lights and ceiling lights in different parts of the house.
turn/switch/put on a light
I switched on the light in the bedroom.
turn/switch/put off a light
Don't forget to switch the lights off when you go out.
turn/switch/put out a light
Can you turn the light out downstairs?
a light is/comes/goes on
The lights in the office were still on.
The street lights were just beginning to come on.
He left a light on in the kitchen.
a light is off/out
Make sure all the lights are off when you leave.
Suddenly all the lights in the house went out .
Can you turn the light down (=make it less bright) a bit?
the bright lights atbright
b) something such as a lamp that you can carry to give you light
Shine a light over here, will you?
3.) ¦(TRAFFIC CONTROL)¦ [C usually plural]
one of a set of red, green, and yellow lights used for controlling traffic
We waited for the lights to change.
Eventually the lights turned green.
The driver had failed to stop at a red light.
4.) ¦(ON A VEHICLE)¦ [C usually plural]
one of the lights on a car, bicycle etc that help you to see at night
He was dazzled by the lights of oncoming traffic.
You've left your lights on.
5.) first light
literary the first light that appears in the morning sky
We set out at first light the next day.
6.) be/stand in sb's light
to prevent someone from getting all the light they need to see or do something
Could you move to the left a little - you're standing in my light.
a light
a match or something else to light a cigarette
Have you got a light, please?
8.) ¦(IN SOMEBODY'S EYES)¦ [singular]
literary an expression in someone's eyes that shows an emotion or intention
= ↑gleam
There was a murderous light in his eyes.
9.) set light to sth
to make something start burning
The candle fell over and set light to the barn.
10.) come to light
be brought to light
if new information comes to light, it becomes known
This evidence did not come to light until after the trial.
The mistake was only brought to light some years later.
11.) throw/shed/cast light on sth
to provide new information that makes a difficult subject or problem easier to understand
Melanie was able to shed some light on the situation.
These discoveries may throw new light on the origins of the universe.
12.) in the light of sth
BrE in light of sth AmE
if you do or decide something in the light of something else, you do it after considering that thing
In light of this tragic event, we have cancelled the 4th of July celebrations.
13.) in a new/different/bad etc light
if someone or something is seen or shown in a particular light, people can see that particular part of their character
I suddenly saw my father in a new light.
This incident will put the company in a very bad light.
14.) see the light
a) to suddenly understand something
At last doctors have seen the light!
b) to begin to believe in a religion very strongly
15.) see the light (of day)
a) if an object sees the light of day, it is taken from the place where it has been hidden, and becomes publicly known
Some of these documents will probably never see the light of day.
b) if a law, decision etc sees the light of day, it comes into existence for the first time
16.) light at the end of the tunnel
something that gives you hope for the future after a long and difficult period
It's been a hard few months, but we're finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
17.) have your name in lights informal
to be successful and famous in theatre or films
18.) go/be out like a light informal
to go to sleep very quickly because you are very tired
I went straight to bed and went out like a light.
19.) a leading light in/of sth informal
someone who is important in a particular organization
She's one of the leading lights of the local dramatic society.
20.) the light of sb's life
the person that someone loves more than anyone else
Her son was the light of her life.
21.) ¦(WINDOW)¦
a window in a roof or wall that allows light into a room
hide your light under a bushel atbushel,be all sweetness and light atsweetness, in the cold light of day atcold1 (9)
light 2
light2 W1S1 adj comparative lighter superlative lightest
4¦(not heavy)¦
5¦(not great)¦
13 a light smoker/drinker/eater etc
14 light sleep/doze
15 a light sleeper
16¦(not serious)¦
17 light relief
18 make light of something
19 on a lighter note/in a lighter vein
20 make light work of something
21 be light on your feet
22 a light heart
[: Old English; Origin: leoht]
1.) ¦(COLOUR)¦
a light colour is pale and not dark
You look nice in light colours.
light blue/green/grey etc
She had blue eyes and light brown hair.
I wanted a lighter yellow paint for the walls.
2.) ¦(DAYLIGHT)¦
it is/gets light
if it is light, there is the natural light of day
≠ ↑dark
We'll keep on looking while it's still light.
It was seven o'clock and just starting to get light .
3.) ¦(ROOMS)¦
a room that is light has plenty of light in it, especially from the sun
≠ ↑dark
The kitchen was light and spacious.
The office was a big light room at the back of the house.
4.) ¦(NOT HEAVY)¦
not very heavy
You can carry this bag - it's fairly light.
You should wear light, comfortable shoes.
The truck was quite light and easy to drive.
She was as light as a feather (=very light) to carry.
→↑lighten, lightweight2
5.) ¦(NOT GREAT)¦
if something is light, there is not very much of it or it is not very great
≠ ↑heavy
Traffic is lighter before 8 a.m.
A light rain began to fall.
She was wearing only light make-up.
people who have suffered only light exposure to radiation
6.) ¦(CLOTHES)¦
light clothes are thin and not very warm
She took a light sweater in case the evening was cool.
a light summer coat
7.) ¦(WIND)¦
a light wind is blowing without much force
≠ ↑strong
Leaves were blowing about in the light wind.
There was a light easterly breeze.
8.) ¦(SOUND)¦
a light sound is very quiet
≠ ↑loud
There was a light tap at the door.
Her voice was light and pleasant.
9.) ¦(TOUCH)¦
a light touch is gentle and soft
She gave him a light kiss on the cheek.
He felt a light tap on his shoulder.
light work is not hard or tiring
I found him some light work to do.
She only has a few light duties around the house.
The doctor has advised me to take regular light exercise.
11.) ¦(FOOD)¦
a) food or drink that is light either does not have a strong taste or does not make you feel full very quickly, for example because it does not contain very much fat, sugar, or alcohol
≠ ↑rich
We had a light white wine with the fish.
a light, refreshing dessert
a new light cheese spread with virtually no fat
b) a light meal is a small meal
≠ ↑big
I had a light lunch in town.
a delicious light snack
c) food that is light contains a lot of air
a type of light, sweet bread
Beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy.
a light punishment is not very severe
≠ ↑harsh
a fairly light sentence
13.) a light smoker/drinker/eater etc
someone who does not smoke etc very much
14.) light sleep/doze
a sleep from which you wake up easily
I fell into a light sleep.
15.) a light sleeper
someone who wakes up easily if there is any noise etc
She's quite a light sleeper.
16.) ¦(NOT SERIOUS)¦
not serious in meaning, style, or manner, and only intended to entertain people
His speech gradually became lighter in tone.
an evening of light music
It's a really good book if you want a bit of light reading .
The show looks at some of the lighter moments from the world of politics.
17.) light relief
something that is pleasant and amusing after something sad or serious
I'm glad you've arrived - we could all do with a little light relief!
18.) make light of sth
to joke about something or treat it as not being very serious, especially when it is important
She tried to make light of the situation, but I could tell that she was worried.
19.) on a lighter note/in a lighter vein
used when you are going to say something less sad or serious
On a lighter note, the concert raised over £300 for school funds.
20.) make light work of sth
to do something or deal with something quickly and easily
A freezer and microwave oven can make light work of cooking.
21.) be light on your feet
to be able to move quickly and gracefully
She's very agile and light on her feet.
22.) a light heart
literary someone who has a light heart feels happy and not worried
I set off for work with a light heart.
23.) ¦(SOIL)¦
light soil is easy to break into small pieces
≠ ↑heavy
Carrots grow well in light soils.
>lightness n [U]
a lightness of touch
light 3
light3 W3S3 v past tense and past participle lit or lighted
[: Old English; Origin: lihtan]
1.) [I and T]
to start to burn, or to make something start to burn
He stopped to light a cigarette.
I lit the fire and poured a drink.
I couldn't get the candles to light.
2.) [T usually passive]
to provide light for a place
The room was lit by one large, central light.
The porch is always well lit at night.
The kitchen was warm and brightly lit .
a poorly lit car park
3.) light the/sb's way
to provide light for someone while they are going somewhere
We had only a few torches between us to light the way.
light on/upon [light on/upon sth] phr v
1.) to notice or find something by chance
His eye lit on a ruby ring.
I thought I might have lit upon an ancient manuscript.
2.) if a bird or insect lights on something, it stops flying and stands on it
light out phr v
to run away, especially because you are afraid
light up phr v
1.) light sth<=>up
to give light to a place or to shine light on something
The flames lit up the sky.
The fountain is lit up at night.
2.) to become bright with light or colour
At night the harbour lights up.
As the screen lit up, he typed in his password.
a) if someone's face or eyes light up, they show pleasure, excitement etc
light up with
His eyes lit up with laughter.
Her face lit up with pleasure.
b) light sth<=>up
to make someone's face or eyes show pleasure or excitement
Suddenly a smile lit up her face.
A mischievous gleam lit up her eyes.
4.) informal to light a cigarette
I watched Paul light up again.
light 4
light4 adv
travel light attravel1 (1)

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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