Language: Old English
Origin: leoht


1 noun
light1 S1 W1

natural/artificial light

a) [uncountable] the energy from the sun, a flame, a lamp etc that allows you to see things:
The morning light came streaming in through the windows.
She opened the curtains to let in the light.
It was late afternoon and the light was beginning to fade.
a pattern of light and shade
in/by the light of something
Eveything looked grey in the dim light of the oil lamp.
We sat and talked by the light of the fire.
in/into the light
The man moved forward into the light.
good/strong/bright light
We'll need good light if we want to take the photographs outside.
poor/dim/fading light
In the fading light she could just make out the shape of a tractor.
soft/warm light
The valley was bathed in the soft light of dawn.
cold/harsh light
the cold, harsh light of a winter afternoon
blinding/dazzling light (=extremely bright light)
We saw a sudden flash of blinding light.
a beam/ray/shaft of light (=a thin line of light)
The clouds parted and a beam of light fell on the field.
b) [countable] a particular type of light, with its own particular colour, level of brightness etc:
The colours look different in different lights.

lamp/electric light etc

a) an electric light:
Ahead of us we could see the lights of the city.
We're having a mixture of wall lights and ceiling lights in different parts of the house.
turn/switch/put on a light
I switched on the light in the bedroom.
turn/switch/put off a light
Don't forget to switch the lights off when you go out.
turn/switch/put out a light
Can you turn the light out downstairs?
a light is/comes/goes on
The lights in the office were still on.
The street lights were just beginning to come on.
He left a light on in the kitchen.
a light is off/out
Make sure all the lights are off when you leave.
Suddenly all the lights in the house went out.
Can you turn the light down (=make it less bright) a bit?

➔ the bright lights

at bright (13)
b) D something such as a lamp that you can carry to give you light:
Shine a light over here, will you?

traffic control

[countable usually plural]TTR one of a set of red, green, and yellow lights used for controlling traffic [= traffic lights]:
We waited for the lights to change.
Eventually the lights turned green.
The driver had failed to stop at a red light.
green light, red-light district

on a vehicle

[countable usually plural]TTC one of the lights on a car, bicycle etc that help you to see at night:
He was dazzled by the lights of oncoming traffic.
You've left your lights on.

first light

literaryTMC the first light that appears in the morning sky:
We set out at first light the next day.

be/stand in somebody's light

to prevent someone from getting all the light they need to see or do something:
Could you move to the left a little - you're standing in my light.

for a cigarette

a light

a match or something else to light a cigarette:
Have you got a light, please?

in somebody's eyes

[singular] literary an expression in someone's eyes that shows an emotion or intention [= gleam]:
There was a murderous light in his eyes.

set light to something

to make something start burning:
The candle fell over and set light to the barn.

come to light

, be brought to light if new information comes to light, it becomes known:
This evidence did not come to light until after the trial.
The mistake was only brought to light some years later.

throw/shed/cast light on something

to provide new information that makes a difficult subject or problem easier to understand:
Melanie was able to shed some light on the situation.
These discoveries may throw new light on the origins of the universe.

in the light of something

British English in light of something American English if you do or decide something in the light of something else, you do it after considering that thing:
In light of this tragic event, we have cancelled the 4th of July celebrations.

in a new/different/bad etc light

if someone or something is seen or shown in a particular light, people can see that particular part of their character:
I suddenly saw my father in a new light.
This incident will put the company in a very bad light.

see the light

a) to suddenly understand something:
At last doctors have seen the light!
b) RRC to begin to believe in a religion very strongly

see the light (of day)

a) if an object sees the light of day, it is taken from the place where it has been hidden, and becomes publicly known:
Some of these documents will probably never see the light of day.
b) if a law, decision etc sees the light of day, it comes into existence for the first time

light at the end of the tunnel

something that gives you hope for the future after a long and difficult period:
It's been a hard few months, but we're finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

have your name in lights

informal to be successful and famous in theatre or films

go/be out like a light

informal to go to sleep very quickly because you are very tired:
I went straight to bed and went out like a light.

a leading light in/of something

informal someone who is important in a particular organization:
She's one of the leading lights of the local dramatic society.

the light of somebody's life

the person that someone loves more than anyone else:
Her son was the light of her life.


[countable]TBB a window in a roof or wall that allows light into a room

➔ hide your light under a bushel

at bushel

; ➔ be all sweetness and light

at sweetness (3)

; ➔ in the cold light of day

at cold1 (9)
WORD FOCUS: colour WORD FOCUS: colour
a particular kind of colour: shade, hint, hue

words for describing dark colours: dark, deep, rich

words for describing light colours: light, pale, soft, pastel

words for describing bright colours: bright, brilliant, vivid, garish disapproving, gaudy disapproving

having a lot of colours: colourful, multicoloured British English/multicolored American English

See also

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