a simple past tense and past participle of alight1.



verb (used without object), a·light·ed or a·lit, a·light·ing.

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 alight

before 1000; Middle English alighten, Old English ālīhtan, equivalent to ā- a-3 + līhtan to relieve (originally an animal mount) of weight, light2) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for alit

disembark, descend, perch, light, settle, dismount, debark

Examples from the Web for alit

Historical Examples of alit

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

  • 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



a rare past tense and past participle of alight 1



verb alights, alighting, alighted or alit (intr)

(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

Word Origin for alight

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



adjective, adverb (postpositive)

burning; on fire
illuminated; lit up

Word Origin for alight

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.).



"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.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper