Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “light”

light

noun uk   /laɪt/ us  

light noun (BRIGHTNESS)

B1 [U] the brightness that comes from the sun, fire, etc. and from electrical devices, and that allows things to be seen: a bright light fluorescent/ultraviolet light a beam/ray of light Light was streaming in through the open door. It's a north-facing room so it doesn't get much light (= brightness from the sun). A2 [C] a piece of equipment that produces light, such as a lamp or a bulb: Could you switch/turn the light on/off, please? She could see the city lights in the distance. As the lights went down, the audience grew quiet. My front bike light isn't working.

light noun (FLAME)

a light something that will produce a flame and cause burning, such as a match or a cigarette lighter: Have you got a light, please? set light to sth UK to cause something to start burning: The lamp caught fire and set light to the curtains.

light

adjective uk   /laɪt/ us  

light adjective (NOT HEAVY)

A2 not heavy: Here, take this bag - it's quite light. He's a few pounds lighter than he used to be. How do you get your cakes so wonderfully light, Felicity? He has a very light (= gentle) touch, which is what is required in massage. She's very light on her feet (= she moves gracefully). A2 describes clothes that are made of thin material that allows you to be cool: a light summer dress

light adjective (BRIGHT)

B1 lit by the natural light of the day: The big windows make the room feel wonderfully light and airy. It gets light very early these summer mornings. Summer is coming and the evenings are getting lighter (= getting dark later).

light adjective (PALE)

A1 (of colours) pale: light blue/green
Opposite

light adjective (NOT SERIOUS)

entertaining and easily understood, but not serious and not intended to make you think: I want some light reading for the summer holidays - a romance or something. A lively argument between the two main speakers provided a bit of light relief (= something enjoyable or amusing) in an otherwise dull conference. make light of sth C2 to behave as if a situation, especially a problem, is not serious or important: It is easy to make light of other people's problems.

light adjective (NOT MUCH)

B1 not great in strength or amount: A light wind was blowing. The traffic was quite light so we got through London quickly. It's only light rain - you don't need an umbrella. light eater/drinker/smoker someone who eats/drinks/smokes only a little light sleeper someone who is easily woken up by noise, etc.

light adjective (MEAL/DRINK)

A light meal is small and easy to digest: I don't eat much for lunch - just a light snack. describes alcoholic drinks that are not strong in flavour: It's described on the label as 'light, fruity wine'.

light adjective (NOT SEVERE)

needing only a very small amount of effort: light exercise, such as walking a bit of light housework A light sentence in prison is a short one: He got off with a fairly light sentence because it was his first conviction. make light work of sth/doing sth to do something quickly and easily: Heather made light work of painting the walls. You made light work of that chocolate cake (= you ate it quickly)!

light

verb uk   /laɪt/ (lit or lighted, lit or lighted) us  

light verb (START FLAMES)

B1 [I or T] to start to burn or to make something start to burn: to light a fire I can't get the cooker to light. He lit his fifth cigarette in half an hour.

light verb (MAKE BRIGHT)

B2 [T] to produce light that makes an object or area bright or easy to see: The stage had been lit with candles. Fireworks lit up the sky (= made the sky bright).
(Definition of light from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of light?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Treating as unimportant, but you might be interested in these topics from the Attention and care topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “light” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

light at the end of the tunnel

signs of improvement in a situation that has been bad for a long time, or signs that a long and difficult piece of work is almost finished

Word of the Day

The language of work

by Kate Woodford,
October 15, 2014
Most of us talk about our jobs. We tell our family and friends interesting or funny things that have happened in the workplace (=room where we do our job), we describe – and sometimes complain about – our bosses and colleagues and when we meet someone for the first time, we tell

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More