• synonyms


See more synonyms for alight on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), a·light·ed or a·lit, a·light·ing.
  1. to dismount from a horse, descend from a vehicle, etc.
  2. to settle or stay after descending: The bird alighted on the tree.
  3. to encounter or notice something accidentally.
Show More

Origin of alight1

before 1000; Middle English alighten, Old English ālīhtan, equivalent to ā- a-3 + līhtan to relieve (originally an animal mount) of weight, light2)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for alighting

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for alighting


verb alights, alighting, alighted or alit (intr)
  1. (usually foll by from) to step out (of) or get down (from)to alight from a taxi
  2. to come to rest; settle; landa thrush alighted on the wall
Show More

Word Origin

Old English ālīhtan, from a- ² + līhtan to make less heavy, from līht light ²


adjective, adverb (postpositive)
  1. burning; on fire
  2. illuminated; lit up
Show More

Word Origin

Old English ālīht lit up, from ālīhtan to light up; see light 1
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

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.

Show More



"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.)).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper