American English

Definition of light adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (lighter, lightest)
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    with natural light
  1. 1full 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 6 o'clock. It was a light, spacious apartment at the top of the building. opposite dark
  2. colors
  3. 2pale in color light blue eyes Lighter shades suit you best. People with pale complexions should avoid wearing light colors. opposite dark
  4. weight
  5. 3easy 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 thirty pounds lighter than he was. The little girl was as light as a feather. The aluminum body is 12% lighter than the steel one. opposite heavy
  6. 4[usually before noun] of less than average or usual weight light summer clothes Only light vehicles are allowed over the old bridge. opposite heavy
  7. 5used with a unit of weight to say that something weighs less than it should The delivery of potatoes was several pounds light.
  8. gentle
  9. 6[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). opposite heavy
  10. work/exercise
  11. 7[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 get a little light exercise.
  12. not great
  13. 8not great in amount, degree, etc. light traffic The forecast is for light showers. light winds Trading on the stock exchange was light today. opposite heavy
  14. not severe/serious
  15. 9not severe He was convicted of assaulting a police officer but he got off with a light sentence.
  16. 10entertaining rather than serious and not needing much mental effort light reading for the beach a concert of light classical music We were just making light conversation.
  17. 11not serious She kept her tone light. This program looks at the lighter side of politics. The job does have its lighter moments. Let's talk about lighter things, shall we? On a lighter note, we end the news today with a story about a duck called Quackers.
  18. cheerful
  19. 12[usually before noun] free from worry; cheerful I left the island with a light heart.
  20. food
  21. 13(of a meal) small in quantity a light supper/snack I just want something light for lunch. opposite heavy
  22. 14not containing much fat or not having a strong flavor and therefore easy for the stomach to digest Stick to a light diet. see also lite
  23. 15containing a lot of air This batter is so light.
  24. drink
  25. 16low in alcohol a light beer
  26. sleep
  27. 17[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. opposite deep
  28. lightness noun [uncountable] see also lightly
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    a light touch
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    the ability to deal with something in a delicate and relaxed way She handles this difficult subject with a light touch.
    make light of something
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    to treat something as not being important and not serious I didn't mean to make light of your injuries.
    make light work of something
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    to do something quickly and with little effort
    many hands make light work (saying)
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    used to say that a job is made easier if a lot of people help
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: light