- to dismount from a horse, descend from a vehicle, etc.
- to settle or stay after descending: The bird alighted on the tree.
- to encounter or notice something accidentally.
Origin of alight1
Examples from the Web for alighting
Kalman has a way of alighting on a moment in history, and animating it with personal details, both true and imagined.Maira Kalman at the Jewish Museum: Interview
May 19, 2011
At our alighting I gave him another dab; but it was but a little one.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
The dear creature was no less shy when the widow first accosted her at her alighting.Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)
Through a glass, perhaps, even its alighting had been watched.
Again it circled, anxiously, now, as if the time for alighting were short.
Alighting from the carriage, I entered, with my host, the cabin of the negro-hunter.Among the Pines
James R. Gilmore
- (usually foll by from) to step out (of) or get down (from)to alight from a taxi
- to come to rest; settle; landa thrush alighted on the wall
- burning; on fire
- illuminated; lit up
Word Origin and History for alighting
"to descend, dismount," Old English alihtan, originally "to lighten, take off, take away," from a- "down, aside" (see a- (1)) + lihtan "get off, make light" (see light (v.)). The notion is of getting down off a horse or vehicle, thus lightening it. Of aircraft (originally balloons) from 1786. Related: Alighted; alighting.
"on fire," early 15c., apparently from Middle English aliht, past participle of alihton (Old English on-lihtan) "to light up," also "to shine upon" (see light (n.)).