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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)
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