Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[dey-lahyt] /ˈdeɪˌlaɪt/
the light of day:
At the end of the tunnel they could see daylight.
public knowledge or awareness; openness:
The newspaper article brought the scandal out into the daylight.
the period of day; daytime.
daybreak; dawn.
a clear space or gap, especially between two people or things that should be close together, as between the knees of a horseback rider and a saddle.
disagreement or mental distance between two people:
There's very little daylight between the two senators' stances on the issue.
daylights, Informal. mental soundness, consciousness, or wits: The noise scared the daylights out of us.
I'd like to beat/knock the daylights out of him!
Photography. of, relating to, or being film made for exposure by the natural light of day.
verb (used with object), daylighted or daylit, daylighting.
to suffuse (an interior space) with artificial light or with daylight filtered through translucent materials, as roofing panels.
see daylight, to progress to a point where completion of a difficult task seems possible or probable.
Origin of daylight
Middle English word dating back to 1175-1225; See origin at day, light1
Related forms
predaylight, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for daylights
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It scared the daylights out of me, more so because I was flat on my back.

    Vigorish Gordon Randall Garrett
  • Didn't he throw a gun on yez once an' scare the daylights out of yez?

    The U.P. Trail Zane Grey
  • If the lady says such another word to me, d—n me, I will darken her daylights.

    Amelia Henry Fielding
  • Let's have a representative who can see what he is about—none of your goold daylights!

    Quodlibet John P. Kennedy
  • Roy isn't so weak that he can't kid the daylights out of you all the way home.

    Phantom of the Forest Lee Francis
British Dictionary definitions for daylights


plural noun
consciousness or wits (esp in the phrases scare, knock, or beat the (living) daylights out of someone)


  1. light from the sun
  2. (as modifier): daylight film
the period when it is light; daytime
see daylight
  1. to understand something previously obscure
  2. to realize that the end of a difficult task is approaching
See also daylights
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for daylights



c.1300 (as two words from mid-12c., daies liht), from day + light (n.); its figurative sense of "clearly visible open space between two things" (1820) has been used in references to boats in a race, U.S. football running backs avoiding opposing tackles, a rider and a saddle, and the rim of a glass and the surface of the liquor. The (living) daylights that you beat out of someone were originally slang for "the eyes" (1752), extended figuratively to the vital senses.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for daylights



A clear and open space between two things, horses, players, boats, etc: Daylight began to open between the two leaders/ He went into the line, but couldn't find any daylight (1820+)


To work at a second job during the day: who is daylighting in an ad agency as a producer of commercials (1970s+)

Related Terms

put daylight between

[verb sense based on moonlight]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with daylights
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for daylights

Difficulty index for daylight

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for daylights

Scrabble Words With Friends