Meaning of “lightly” in the English Dictionary

"lightly" in British English

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lightlyadverb

uk /ˈlaɪt.li/ us /ˈlaɪt.li/

lightly adverb (GENTLY)

B1 gently:

She patted him lightly on the shoulder.

C1 If food is lightly cooked, it is cooked for only a short time:

More examples

  • Dust the face lightly with powder.
  • I like eggs lightly cooked so that the yolk is still runny.
  • He touched me lightly on the cheek.
  • Dab the paint on lightly.
  • She applied the make-up lightly.

lightly adverb (NOT SERIOUSLY)

If you say something lightly, you are not serious when you say it:

"Anyway, it won't affect me because I'm leaving," she said lightly.
not do sth lightly

C2 If something is not said or treated lightly, it is said or treated in a serious way, after great thought:

Accusations like these from a top minister are not made lightly.

(Definition of “lightly” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"lightly" in American English

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lightlyadverb

us /ˈlɑɪt·li/

lightly adverb (NOT SERIOUSLY)

without serious consideration:

Funding for public schools is something I don't take lightly.

lightly adverb (NOT A LOT)

If food is lightly cooked, it is cooked for only a short time.

(Definition of “lightly” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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