Definition of light adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//laɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//laɪt//
    (lighter, lightest) Texture of food, Describing a story, Describing work, Materials and properties, Taste of food
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    with natural light
  1. 1  full 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 5 o'clock. It was a light spacious apartment at the top of the building. opposite dark
  2. colours
  3. 2  pale in colour light blue eyes Lighter shades suit you best. People with pale complexions should avoid wearing light colours. opposite dark
  4. weight
  5. 3  easy to lift or move; not weighing very much Modern phones are light and easy to carry. Carry this bag—it's the lightest. He's lost a lot of weight—he's three kilos lighter than he was. The little girl was as light as a feather. The aluminium body is 12% lighter than if built with steel. opposite heavy See related entries: Materials and properties
  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 do The delivery of potatoes was several kilos 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 take a little light exercise. See related entries: Describing work
  12. not great
  13. 8  not 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. 10  entertaining 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. See related entries: Describing a story
  17. 11  not serious She kept her tone light. This programme looks at the lighter side of politics. We all needed a little light relief at the end of a long day (= something amusing or entertaining that comes after something serious or boring). 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 See related entries: Texture of food
  22. 14not containing much fat or not having a strong flavour and therefore easy for the stomach to digest Stick to a light diet. see also lite See related entries: Taste of food
  23. 15containing a lot of air This pastry is so light.
  24. drink
  25. 16low in alcohol a light beer
  26. 17(Indian English) (of tea or coffee) containing a lot of water synonym weak I don't like my coffee too light. I think I’ll have a light tea. opposite strong
  27. sleep
  28. 18[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
  29. Word Originadjective senses 1 to 2 Old English lēoht, līht (noun and adjective), līhtan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch licht and German Licht, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek leukos ‘white’ and Latin lux ‘light’. adjective senses 3 to 17 Old English lēocht, līht (noun), lēohte (adverb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch licht and German leicht, from an Indo-European root shared by lung.Extra examples As soon as it grew light, we got up and dressed. It stays light for so long on these summer evenings. It was almost light outside. It was barely light yet. It was not light enough to see things clearly. It was starting to get light. The bottle felt strangely light between my fingers. The punishment can be remarkably light. The sky turned light once more. The tent is light enough for backpacking and touring. The traffic is usually fairly light in the afternoons. The whole house was beautifully light and airy. Trading volume remains light. We’ll set out as soon as it’s completely light. a deliciously light alternative to cake wearing only very light clothes Do you need some light reading for the beach? He was convicted of assaulting a police officer but he got off with a light sentence. He’s got light blue eyes. It gets light at about 5 o’clock. People with pale complexions should avoid wearing light colours. We’ll leave in the morning as soon as it’s light. a pale light/​glow/​sky light reading/​fiction/​entertainment/​comedy/​music/​opera pale/​light blue/​green/​yellow/​orange/​red/​pink/​purple/​grey/​brown pale/​light colours/​shades/​tonesIdioms (British English) to not have enough of something We seem to be light on fuel. 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
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    (saying) used to say that a job is made easier if a lot of people help
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: light