- 1on fire A cigarette set the dry grass alight. A car was overturned and set alight. Her dress caught alight in the fire.
- 2(formal) (of faces or eyes) showing a feeling of happiness or excitement The children’s faces were alight with enthusiasm. Word Originadjective late Middle English: probably from the phrase on a light (= lighted) fire.Extra examples The building had been set alight by the killer. The children’s eyes were alight with excitement. The fire should be well alight by now. The fire should remain alight overnight. The fires had to be kept alight each night. hoping that the fire would remain alight overnightIdioms
(informal) (usually used in negative sentences) to be very successful and gain the admiration of other people He's never going to set the world on fire with his paintings.