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



    BrE BrE//laɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//laɪt//
    Energy and physical forces
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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 See related entries: Energy and physical forces
  2. 2  [countable] a particular type of light with its own colour and qualities A cold grey 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 lights (= traffic lights) are green. Check your car before you drive to make sure that your lights are working. see also brake light, city lights, green light, headlight, leading light, red light
  5. for cigarette
  6. 4  [singular] a match or device with which you can light a cigarette (British English) Have you got a light? (North American English, British English) Do you have a light?
  7. expression in eyes
  8. 5[singular] an expression in somebody’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 colours 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 leaded lights 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 disco was fantastic. see also skylight
  13. Word Originnoun ,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’.Extra examples A warning light goes on when the battery is running low. Bring it into the light and we’ll have a look at it. Could you give me a light? For the first time since the start of his treatment, we can now see light at the end of the tunnel. He flashed his lights to warn the oncoming cars. In full light, you could see Alison was well over forty. Light from a tall lamp fell in a pool on the desk. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. She held up the letter against the light. Some cars already had their lights on. Some of his paintings never even saw the light of day. Someone shone a light in my face. The blue light was flashing. The car was stopped at the side of the road with its hazard lights flashing. The lamp was the only source of light in the room. The light flickered a couple of times then went out. The light reflecting off the snow was dazzling. The pilot could just make out the runway landing lights. The place looked calm in the golden evening light. The warning light came on. There was a flash of light followed by an explosion. They managed to see where the door was by the light of the moon. We could hardly see the ball in the failing light. We were momentarily blinded by the light of the sun. You could see the imperfections in the repair when the light caught it. film that is sensitive to ultraviolet light in the cold light of morning light emitted by a star the bright lights of the city the light from the kitchen window Check your car before you drive to make sure that your lights are working. Examine the artist’s use of light and shade. He squinted in the bright light. It was getting dark and the street lights had come on. Keep going—the lights are green. Suddenly all the lights went out. The light was beginning to fail. The lights dimmed and the curtain rose. Turn on the lights! We could only just make out the path in the dim light. a beam/​ray of lightIdioms
    according to somebody’s/something’s lights
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    (formal) according to the standards which somebody sets for himself or herself The police were left to do the job according to their lights.
    be in somebody’s light
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    to be between somebody and a source of light Could you move—you're in my light.
    (informal) 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 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.
    to become known to people New evidence has recently come to light.
    hide your light under a bushel
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    to not let people know that you are good at something
    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, favourable, 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 the light of something (British English) (North American English in light of something)
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    after considering something He rewrote the book in the 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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    somebody 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 somebody loves more than any other
    the lights are on but nobody’s home
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    (saying, humorous) used to describe somebody who is stupid, not thinking clearly or not paying attention
    run a (red) light, run the lights (both especially North American English) (British English also jump the lights)
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    (informal) to fail to stop at a red traffic light
    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
    to begin to exist or to become publicly known about He's written a lot of good material that has never seen the light of day. (especially British English) to make something start burning synonym ignite A spark from the fire had set light to a rug.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: light