light [adjective] (NOT HEAVY)

Not heavy

US /laɪt/ 
UK /laɪt/ 

The little girl was as light as a feather. 

آهنگ وترانه: 
Hotel California - Eagles

Oxford Essential Dictionary

adjective (lighter, lightest)

1 full of natural light:
In summer it's light until about ten o'clock.
The room has a lot of windows so it's very light.
 opposite dark

2 with a pale colour:
a light blue shirt
 opposite dark

3 easy to lift or move:
Will you carry this bag for me? It's very light.
 opposite heavy

4 not very much or not very strong:
light rain
I had a light breakfast.

>> lightly adverb:
She touched me lightly on the arm.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

II. light2 S1 W1 BrE AmE adjective (comparative lighter, superlative lightest)
[Word Family: noun: ↑light, ↑lighter, ↑lighting, ↑lightness; adjective: ↑light, ↑lighted, ↑unlit; verb: ↑light, ↑lighten; adverb: ↑lightly, ↑light]
[Language: Old English; Origin: leoht]
1. COLOUR a light colour is pale and not dark:
You look nice in light colours.
light blue/green/grey etc
She had blue eyes and light brown hair.
I wanted a lighter yellow paint for the walls.
2. DAYLIGHT it is/gets light if it is light, there is the natural light of day OPP dark:
We’ll keep on looking while it’s still light.
It was seven o'clock and just starting to get light.
3. ROOMS a room that is light has plenty of light in it, especially from the sun OPP dark:
The kitchen was light and spacious.
The office was a big light room at the back of the house.
NOT HEAVY not very heavy:
You can carry this bag – it’s fairly light.
You should wear light, comfortable shoes.
The truck was quite light and easy to drive.
She was as light as a feather (=very light) to carry. ⇨ ↑lighten, ↑lightweight2
5. NOT GREAT if something is light, there is not very much of it or it is not very great OPP heavy:
Traffic is lighter before 8 a.m.
A light rain began to fall.
She was wearing only light make-up.
people who have suffered only light exposure to radiation
6. CLOTHES light clothes are thin and not very warm:
She took a light sweater in case the evening was cool.
a light summer coat
7. WIND a light wind is blowing without much force OPP strong:
Leaves were blowing about in the light wind.
There was a light easterly breeze.
8. SOUND a light sound is very quiet OPP loud:
There was a light tap at the door.
Her voice was light and pleasant.
9. TOUCH a light touch is gentle and soft:
She gave him a light kiss on the cheek.
He felt a light tap on his shoulder.
10. WORK/EXERCISE light work is not hard or tiring:
I found him some light work to do.
She only has a few light duties around the house.
The doctor has advised me to take regular light exercise.
11. FOOD
a) food or drink that is light either does not have a strong taste or does not make you feel full very quickly, for example because it does not contain very much fat, sugar, or alcohol OPP rich:
We had a light white wine with the fish.
a light, refreshing dessert
a new light cheese spread with virtually no fat
b) a light meal is a small meal OPP big:
I had a light lunch in town.
a delicious light snack
c) food that is light contains a lot of air:
a type of light, sweet bread
Beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy.
12. PUNISHMENT a light punishment is not very severe OPP harsh:
a fairly light sentence
13. a light smoker/drinker/eater etc someone who does not smoke etc very much
14. light sleep/doze a sleep from which you wake up easily:
I fell into a light sleep.
15. a light sleeper someone who wakes up easily if there is any noise etc:
She’s quite a light sleeper.
16. NOT SERIOUS not serious in meaning, style, or manner, and only intended to entertain people:
His speech gradually became lighter in tone.
an evening of light music
It’s a really good book if you want a bit of light reading.
The show looks at some of the lighter moments from the world of politics.
17. light relief something that is pleasant and amusing after something sad or serious:
I’m glad you’ve arrived – we could all do with a little light relief!
18. make light of something to joke about something or treat it as not being very serious, especially when it is important:
She tried to make light of the situation, but I could tell that she was worried.
19. on a lighter note/in a lighter vein used when you are going to say something less sad or serious:
On a lighter note, the concert raised over £300 for school funds.
20. make light work of something to do something or deal with something quickly and easily:
A freezer and microwave oven can make light work of cooking.
21. be light on your feet to be able to move quickly and gracefully:
She’s very agile and light on her feet.
22. a light heart literary someone who has a light heart feels happy and not worried:
I set off for work with a light heart. ⇨ ↑light-hearted
23. SOIL light soil is easy to break into small pieces OPP heavy:
Carrots grow well in light soils.
—lightness noun [uncountable]:
a lightness of touch

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

adjective (light·er, light·est

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.

Opp:  dark  


2. pale in colour
light blue eyes
Lighter shades suit you best.
• People with pale complexions should avoid wearing light colours.

Opp:  dark  


3. easy to lift or move; not weighing very much
Modern video cameras 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.

Opp:  heavy

4. usually before noun of less than average or usual weight
light summer clothes
• Only light vehicles are allowed over the old bridge.

Opp:  heavy

5. used with a unit of weight to say that sth weighs less than it should do

• The delivery of potatoes was several kilos light.  


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).

Opp:  heavy  


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.  


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.

Opp:  heavy  


9. not severe

• He was convicted of assaulting a police officer but he got off with a light sentence.

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.

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 sth 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.  


12. usually before noun free from worry; cheerful

• I left the island with a light heart.  


13. (of a meal) small in quantity
a light supper/snack.
• I just want something light for lunch.

Opp:  heavy

14. not 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

15. containing a lot of air

• This pastry is so light.  


16. low in alcohol

• a light beer

17. (IndE) (of tea or coffee) containing a lot of water
Syn:  weak
I don't like my coffee too light.
• I think I'll have a light tea.

Opp:  strong  


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.
Opp:  deep
see also  lightly 
more at many hands make light work at  hand  n.  
Word Origin:
n. and v. adj. senses 1 to 2 Old English lēoht līht līhtan Germanic Dutch licht German Licht Indo-European Greek leukos ‘white’ Latin lux ‘light’
adj. senses 3 to 17 Old English lēocht līht lēohte Germanic Dutch licht German leicht Indo-European lung
light adj.
Light colours suit you best.
palesoftpastelneutral|usually approving cool
Opp: dark
a light/pale/soft/pastel/neutral/cool colour/shade
light/pale/soft/pastel/cool blue/green
light/pale/soft/pastel pink
light/soft/pale yellow/brown/red
Light or pale? Both words can be used to describe colours. Pale is also used to describe a kind of light that contains a lot of white and is not bright:
a pale light/glow/sky
 ¤ a light light/glow/sky
The forecast is for light showers.
Opp: heavy
(a) light/gentle breeze/wind/rain
light/gentle work/exercise
light/mild punishment
Light, gentle or mild? Light is used especially to describe weather, work, exercise and punishments. Gentle is used especially to describe weather, temperature, work and exercise. Mild is used especially to describe weather, diseases, drugs, criticism and punishment.  
Example Bank:
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/tones

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition

light / laɪt / adjective (NOT HEAVY)

A2 not heavy:

Here, take this bag - it's quite light.

He's a few pounds lighter than he used to be.

How do you get your cakes so wonderfully light, Felicity?

He has a very light (= gentle) touch , which is what is required in massage.

She's very light on her feet (= she moves gracefully) .

A2 describes clothes that are made of thin material that allows you to be cool:

a light summer dress

light / laɪt / adjective (BRIGHT)

B1 lit by the natural light of the day:

The big windows make the room feel wonderfully light and airy.

It gets light very early these summer mornings.

Summer is coming and the evenings are getting lighter (= getting dark later) .

light / laɪt / adjective (PALE)

A1 (of colours) pale:

light blue/green

→  Opposite dark

light / laɪt / adjective (NOT SERIOUS)

entertaining and easily understood, but not serious and not intended to make you think:

I want some light reading for the summer holidays - a romance or something.

A lively argument between the two main speakers provided a bit of light relief (= something enjoyable or amusing) in an otherwise dull conference.

make light of sth C2 to behave as if a situation, especially a problem, is not serious or important:

It is easy to make light of other people's problems.

light / laɪt / adjective (NOT MUCH)

B1 not great in strength or amount:

A light wind was blowing.

The traffic was quite light so we got through London quickly.

It's only light rain - you don't need an umbrella.

light eater/drinker/smoker

someone who eats/drinks/smokes only a little

light sleeper

someone who is easily woken up by noise, etc.

light / laɪt / adjective (MEAL/DRINK)

A light meal is small and easy to digest:

I don't eat much for lunch - just a light snack.

describes alcoholic drinks that are not strong in flavour:

It's described on the label as 'light, fruity wine'.


light / laɪt / adjective (NOT SEVERE)

needing only a very small amount of effort:

light exercise, such as walking

a bit of light housework

A light sentence in prison is a short one:

He got off with a fairly light sentence because it was his first conviction.

make light work of sth/doing sth to do something quickly and easily:

Heather made light work of painting the walls.

You made light work of that chocolate cake (= you ate it quickly) !

© Cambridge University Press 2013

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary



(lights, lighting, lit, lighted, lighter, lightest)
Frequency: The word is one of the 1500 most common words in English.
Note: The form 'lit' is the usual past tense and past participle, but the form 'lighted' is also used.
Please look at category 19 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.
Light is the brightness that lets you see things. Light comes from sources such as the sun, moon, lamps, and fire.
Cracks of light filtered through the shutters...
It was difficult to see in the dim light.
...ultraviolet light.
N-UNCOUNT: also the N
A light is something such as an electric lamp which produces light.
The janitor comes round to turn the lights out...
...street lights.
You can use lights to refer to a set of traffic lights.
...the heavy city traffic with its endless delays at lights and crossings.
If a place or object is lit by something, it has light shining on it.
It was dark and a giant moon lit the road so brightly you could see the landscape clearly...
The room was lit by only the one light...
The low sun lit the fortress walls with yellow light.
VERB: V n, V n, V n with n
If it is light, the sun is providing light at the beginning or end of the day.
It was still light when we arrived at Lalong Creek...
...light summer evenings.
If a room or building is light, it has a lot of natural light in it, for example because it has large windows.
It is a light room with tall windows...
= bright
The dark green spare bedroom is in total contrast to the lightness of the large main bedroom.
N-UNCOUNT: usu with supp
If you light something such as a cigarette or fire, or if it lights, it starts burning.
Stephen hunched down to light a cigarette...
If the charcoal does fail to light, use a special liquid spray and light it with a long taper.
...a lighted candle.
VERB: V n, V, V-ed
If someone asks you for a light, they want a match or cigarette lighter so they can start smoking. (INFORMAL)
Have you got a light anybody?
If something is presented in a particular light, it is presented so that you think about it in a particular way or so that it appears to be of a particular nature.
He has worked hard in recent months to portray New York in a better light.
N-COUNT: with supp
see also lighterlightingbright lightsnight lightpilot lightred light
If something comes to light or is brought to light, it becomes obvious or is made known to a lot of people.
The truth is unlikely to be brought to light by the promised enquiry.
PHRASE: V inflects
If light dawns on you, you begin to understand something after a period of not being able to understand it.
At last the light dawned. He was going to marry Phylis!
PHRASE: V inflects
If someone in authority gives you a green light, they give you permission to do something.
The food industry was given a green light to extend the use of these chemicals...
PHRASE: PHR after v, v-link PHR
If something is possible in the light of particular information, it is only possible because you have this information.
In the light of this information it is now possible to identify a number of key issues.
If someone sees the light, they finally realize something or change their attitude or way of behaving to a better one.
I saw the light and ditched him.
PHRASE: V inflects
If you set light to something, you make it start burning. (mainly BRIT; in AM, use set fire to)
They had poured fuel through the door of the flat and had then set light to it.
PHRASE: V inflects: PHR n
To shed light on, throw light on, or cast light on something means to make it easier to understand, because more information is known about it.
A new approach offers an answer, and may shed light on an even bigger question.
= clarify
PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n
When you talk about the light at the end of the tunnel, you are referring to the end of the difficult or unpleasant situation that you are in at the moment.
All I can do is tell her to hold on, that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
all sweetness and light: see sweetness



(lighter, lightest)
Frequency: The word is one of the 3000 most common words in English.
Something that is light does not weigh very much, or weighs less than you would expect it to.
Modern tennis rackets are now apparently 20 per cent lighter.
...weight training with light weights...
Try to wear light, loose clothes.
The toughness, lightness, strength, and elasticity of whalebone gave it a wide variety of uses.
N-UNCOUNT: usu with supp
Something that is light is not very great in amount, degree, or intensity.
It’s a Sunday like any other with the usual light traffic in the city...
...a light breeze.
Put the onions in the pan and cook until lightly browned.
ADV: usu ADV -ed, also ADV after v
Light equipment and machines are small and easily moved, especially because they are not heavy.
...a convoy of light armoured vehicles...
They used light machine guns and AK forty-sevens.
Something that is light is very pale in colour.
The walls are light in colour and covered in paper...
He is light haired with gray eyes.

Light is also a combining form.
We know he has a light green van.
...a light blue box.
A light sleep is one that is easily disturbed and in which you are often aware of the things around you. If you are a light sleeper, you are easily woken when you are asleep.
She had drifted into a light sleep...
She was usually a light sleeper.
He was dozing lightly in his chair.
ADV: ADV after v
A light sound, for example someone’s voice, is pleasantly quiet.
The voice was sweet and light.
A light meal consists of a small amount of food, or of food that is easy to digest.
...a light, healthy lunch.
She found it impossible to eat lightly.
ADV: ADV after v
Light work does not involve much physical effort.
He was on the training field for some light work yesterday.
ADJ: usu ADJ n
If you describe the result of an action or a punishment as light, you mean that it is less serious or severe than you expected.
She confessed her astonishment at her light sentence when her father visited her at the jail.
= lenient
One of the accused got off lightly in exchange for pleading guilty to withholding information from Congress.
ADV: ADV after v
Movements and actions that are light are graceful or gentle and are done with very little force or effort.
Use a light touch when applying cream or make-up...
There was a light knock at the door.
= gentle
He kissed her lightly on the mouth...
Knead the dough very lightly.
ADV: ADV with v
She danced with a grace and lightness that were breathtaking.
see also lighter



(lighter, lightest)
Frequency: The word is one of the 3000 most common words in English.
Please look at category 5 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.
If you describe things such as books, music, and films as light, you mean that they entertain you without making you think very deeply.
...light classical music.
...a light entertainment programme.
ADJ: usu ADJ n
If you say something in a light way, you sound as if you think that something is not important or serious.
Talk to him in a friendly, light way about the relationship...
Let’s finish on a lighter note.
ADJ: usu ADJ n
‘Once a detective, always a detective,’ he said lightly.
ADV: ADV after v
‘I’m not an authority on them,’ Jessica said with forced lightness.
If you say that something is not a light matter, you mean that it should be treated or considered as being important and serious.
It can be no light matter for the Home Office that so many young prisoners should have wanted to kill or injure themselves.
ADJ: usu with brd-neg
His allegations cannot be lightly dismissed.
ADV: ADV with v
If you make light of something, you treat it as though it is not serious or important, when in fact it is.
Roberts attempted to make light of his discomfort.
= play down
PHRASE: V inflects

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary: 

4light adj lighter; -est
1 a : not heavy : having little weight or less than usual weight
• This suitcase is light enough for a child to carry.
• The truck was carrying a light load.
• “How heavy is it?” “Not very: it's actually quite light.”
• It's very light in weight. = It's of very light weight.
• This box is lighter than I thought it would be.
• She would like to be a few pounds lighter. = She would like to be lighter by a few pounds. [=she would like to weigh less than she does by a few pounds]
• Aluminum is a light metal.
• lifting light weights
• This box is as light as a feather. [=very light]
b : small in size and weight
• He has a light build.
2 a : less in amount or degree than usual
• Only a light turnout is expected for the election.
• Traffic was light this morning.
• I have only a light course load this semester.
• The stock market was slightly up today in light trading.
light rain/snow
• She was wearing light makeup.
light perfume
b : not strong or violent : moderate
• a light breeze
c : not great or large
• The storm caused only light [=slight] damage. [=the storm did not cause much damage]
light competition
• Casualties have so far been light.
d : not difficult to accept or bear
• a light responsibility : not harsh or severe
light punishment
• He was given a surprisingly light sentence for his crimes.
e : slight or minor in degree or effect
• She has a light cold.
light discipline
• These shrubs require only a little light pruning.
- opposite heavy
3 : not involving a lot of physical effort
light lifting
• doing a little light housework
light exercise/exertion
• a light practice session
• It's a big job, but many hands make light work. [=if many people work on it, it will be easier to do]
- opposite heavy
4 : not loud or forceful
light footsteps
• a light tread
• a light touch
• just a light tap on the ball/shoulder
- opposite heavy
5 : not important or serious : intended mainly for entertainment
• doing some light reading
- opposite heavy
6 : not dense and thick
• He has a light beard.
• a light growth of timber
• an animal's light summer coat
light fog/smoke
light soil
- opposite heavy
7 : made with thin cloth and not very warm
• a light coat/blanket
- opposite heavy
8 a : eating, drinking, or using a small amount of something
• He's a light eater/smoker/drinker/user.
light alcohol consumption
b : producing a small amount of something
• a shrub that is a light bloomer [=a shrub that does not produce many flowers]
c : not done often or in large amounts
light smoking
- opposite heavy
9 a : not having a large amount of food : not making your stomach feel full
• We ate a light lunch.
• a light snack
b : made with fewer calories or with less of some ingredient than usual
light beer
c : not rich, dense, or thick
light cream
light syrup
- opposite heavy
10 a : designed to carry a small load or few passengers
• a light truck
• a refueling point for light aircraft
b : not as large and powerful as other weapons, machines, etc.
light artillery
light machinery
c of a group of soldiers : having fewer and smaller weapons and less armor than other groups but able to move quickly
light infantry/cavalry
light on : having or using a small amount of (something)
• a essay that is light on facts but heavy on speculation
• She asked him to go light on the mustard. [=to not use a large amount of mustard]
light on your feet : capable of moving in a quick and graceful way
• He's very light on his feet for such a big person.
light sleeper : someone who wakes up easily
• She's a very light sleeper. The slightest noise will wake her.
make light of : to treat (something, such as a problem) in a joking way : to not be serious about (something important)
• I don't mean to make light of this very serious issue.
• He made light of his recent losses—but you could tell he was worried about them.

- compare 2light

Subscribe to RSS - light