• synonyms


See more synonyms for alit on Thesaurus.com
  1. a simple past tense and past participle of alight1.
Show More


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 alit

Historical Examples

  • As ill-luck would have it, I alit upon my feet within the vehicle.

    The Works of Edgar Allan Poe

    Edgar Allan Poe

  • A faint scent of chypre from Petticoat's cigarette as he alit.

    Ptomaine Street

    Carolyn Wells

  • Then she there alit, and came before the king and saluted him; and he said: Damosel, God thee bless.

    A Knyght Ther Was

    Robert F. Young

  • They were still high up, but all of a sudden they darted down together and alit on a tall tree that stood nearly alone.

  • And then he alit off his horse, and said: Fair sweet brother, when came ye hither?

    Chronicle and Romance (The Harvard Classics Series)

    Jean Froissart, Thomas Malory, Raphael Holinshed

British Dictionary definitions for alit


  1. a rare past tense and past participle of alight 1
Show More


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 alit

poetic past tense and past participle of alight (v.).

Show More



"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