Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[lahyt-lee] /ˈlaɪt li/
with little weight, force, intensity, etc.; gently:
to press lightly on a door bell.
to only a small amount or degree; slightly:
lightly fried eggs.
nimbly; quickly:
to leap lightly aside.
with a lack of concern; indifferently; slightly:
to think lightly of one's achievements.
cheerfully; without complaining:
to take bad news lightly.
without due consideration or reason (often used negatively):
an offer not to be refused lightly.
easily; without trouble or effort:
Lightly come, lightly go.
frivolously; flippantly:
to behave lightly.
airily; buoyantly:
flags floating lightly.
Origin of lightly
before 900; Middle English lightli, Old English lēohtlīce. See light2, -ly Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for lightly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The moral customs of their countries were possibly held by them lightly.

  • But daddy's attentions were for few, and not to be lightly received.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • She had kissed him lightly on the cheek before he knew what she intended to do.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Yates caught up a handful of sand, and flung it lightly against the pane.

  • "Been rolling that to the top of the mountain," he said lightly.

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
Word Origin and History for lightly

Old English leohtlice "so as not to be heavy" (of material things, but also of sleep, blows, etc.); cognate with Old Frisian lichtelik, Old High German lihtlihho, German leichtlich, Old Norse lettlega (see light (adj.1)). Meaning "frivolously, indifferently" is from early 13c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with lightly
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

Difficulty index for lightly

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for lightly

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for lightly