American English

Definition of light noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    from sun/lamps
  1. 1[uncountable] the energy from the sun, a lamp, etc. that makes it possible to see things bright/dim light a room with good natural light in the fading light of a summer's evening The light was beginning to fail (= it was beginning to get dark). She could just see by the light of the candle. Bring it into the light so I can see it. a beam/ray of light The knife gleamed as it caught the light (= as the light shone on it). see also first light
  2. 2[countable] a particular type of light with its own color and qualities A cold gray light crept under the curtains. see also Northern Lights
  3. lamp
  4. 3[countable] a thing that produces light, especially an electric light to turn/switch the lights on/off to turn out the light(s) Suddenly all the lights went out. It was an hour before the lights came on again. to turn down/dim the lights A light was still burning in the bedroom. ceiling/wall lights Keep going—the light (= traffic light) is green. Check your car before you drive to make sure that your lights are working. see also brake light, fog light, green light, headlight, leading light, red light
  5. for cigarette
  6. 4[singular] a match or device with which you can light a cigarette Do you have a light?
  7. expression in eyes
  8. 5[singular] an expression in someone's eyes which shows what they are thinking or feeling There was a soft light in her eyes as she looked at him.
  9. in picture
  10. 6[uncountable] light colors in a picture, which contrast with darker ones the artist's use of light and shade
  11. window
  12. 7[countable] (architecture) a window or an opening to allow light in see also skylight
  13. Which Word?light / lighting The noun light has several different meanings and is used in many phrases. Lighting can only be used to talk about the type of light in a place or how lights are used to achieve a particular effect:the lighting system the movie’s interesting lighting effects The lighting at the nightclub was fantastic.Idioms
    be in somebody's light
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    to be between someone and a source of light Could you move—you're in my light.
    be/go out like a light (informal)
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    to go to sleep very quickly She returned to bed and went out like a light.
      be (all) sweetness and light
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    1. 1(of a person) to be pleasant, friendly, and polite I can't complain—he's been all sweetness and light with me.
    2. 2(of a situation) to be enjoyable and easy to deal with It's not all sweetness and light being an actor.
    the bright lights
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    the excitement of city life Although he grew up in the country, he's always had a taste for the bright lights.
    bring something to light
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    to make new information known to people These facts have only just been brought to light.
    cast/shed/throw light on something
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    to make a problem, etc. easier to understand Recent research has thrown new light on the causes of the disease.
    come to light
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    to become known to people New evidence has recently come to light.
    in the cold light of day
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    when you have had time to think calmly about something; in the morning when things are clearer These things always look different in the cold light of day.
    in a good, bad, favorable, etc. light
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    if you see something or put something in a good, bad, etc. light, it seems good, bad, etc. You must not view what happened in a negative light. They want to present their policies in the best possible light.
    in light of something
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    after considering something He rewrote the book in light of further research.
    light at the end of the tunnel
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    something that shows you are nearly at the end of a long and difficult time or situation
    (the) light dawned (on somebody)
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    someone suddenly understood or began to understand something I puzzled over the problem for ages before the light suddenly dawned.
    the light of somebody's life
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    the person someone loves more than any other
    run a (red) light, run the light(s) (informal)
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    to fail to stop at a red traffic light
      see the light
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    1. 1to finally understand or accept something, especially something obvious He thinks she's wonderful but he'll soon see the light (= realize that she's not)!
    2. 2to begin to believe in a religion
    see the light of day
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    to begin to exist or to become publicly known He's written a lot of good material that has never seen the light of day.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: light