Nearby words

  1. ligature,
  2. ligeance,
  3. liger,
  4. ligeti,
  5. ligeti, györgy,
  6. light a fire under,
  7. light adaptation,
  8. light air,
  9. light armored vehicle,
  10. light artillery


Origin of light

before 900; (noun and adj.) Middle English; Old English lēoht; cognate with Old Saxon lioht, Old Frisian liacht, Dutch, German licht, Gothic liuhath (noun); akin to Old Norse ljōs (noun), ljōss (adj.), Latin lūx (noun), Greek leukós bright, white; (v.) Middle English lighten, Old English līhtan, cognate with Old Saxon liuhtian, Old High German liuhten (German leuchten), Gothic liuhtjan

Related formslight·ful, adjectivelight·ful·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for come to light



God regarded as a source of illuminating grace and strength
Quakerism short for Inner Light




the medium of illumination that makes sight possible
Also called: visible radiation electromagnetic radiation that is capable of causing a visual sensation and has wavelengths from about 380 to about 780 nanometres
(not in technical usage) electromagnetic radiation that has a wavelength outside this range, esp ultraviolet radiationultraviolet light
the sensation experienced when electromagnetic radiation within the visible spectrum falls on the retina of the eyeRelated prefix: photo-
anything that illuminates, such as a lamp or candle
a particular quality or type of lighta good light for reading
  1. illumination from the sun during the day; daylight
  2. the time this appears; daybreak; dawn
anything that allows the entrance of light, such as a window or compartment of a window
the condition of being visible or known (esp in the phrases bring or come to light)
an aspect or viewhe saw it in a different light
mental understanding or spiritual insight
a person considered to be an authority or leader
brightness of countenance, esp a sparkle in the eyes
  1. the act of igniting or kindling something, such as a cigarette
  2. something that ignites or kindles, esp in a specified manner, such as a spark or flame
  3. something used for igniting or kindling, such as a match
  1. the effect of illumination on objects or scenes, as created in a picture
  2. an area of brightness in a picture, as opposed to shade
a poetic or archaic word for eyesight
the answer to a clue in a crossword
in light of or in the light of in view of; taking into account; considering
light at the end of the tunnel hope for the ending of a difficult or unpleasant situation
out like a light quickly asleep or unconscious
see the light
  1. to gain sudden insight into or understanding of something
  2. to experience a religious conversion
see the light or see the light of day
  1. to come into being
  2. to come to public notice
shed light on or throw light on to clarify or supply additional information on
stand in a person's light to stand so as to obscure a person's vision
strike a light
  1. (verb)to ignite something, esp a match, by friction
  2. (interjection) Britishan exclamation of surprise


full of light; well-lighted
(of a colour) reflecting or transmitting a large amount of lightlight yellow Compare medium (def. 2), dark (def. 2)
phonetics relating to or denoting an (l) pronounced with front vowel resonance; clearthe French "l" is much lighter than that of English See dark (def. 9)

verb lights, lighting, lighted or lit (lɪt)

to ignite or cause to ignite
(often foll by up) to illuminate or cause to illuminate
to make or become cheerful or animated
(tr) to guide or lead by light
See also lights 1, light up

Derived Formslightish, adjectivelightless, adjective

Word Origin for light

Old English lēoht; related to Old High German lioht, Gothic liuhath, Latin lux




not heavy; weighing relatively little
having relatively low densitymagnesium is a light metal
lacking sufficient weight; not agreeing with standard or official weights
not great in degree, intensity, or numberlight rain; a light eater
without burdens, difficulties, or problems; easily borne or donea light heart; light work
graceful, agile, or deftlight fingers
not bulky or clumsy
not serious or profound; entertaininglight verse
without importance or consequence; insignificantno light matter
frivolous or capricious
loose in morals
dizzy or uncleara light head
(of bread, cake, etc) spongy or well leavened
easily digesteda light meal
relatively low in alcoholic contenta light wine
(of a soil) having a crumbly texture
(of a vessel, lorry, etc)
  1. designed to carry light loads
  2. not loaded
carrying light arms or equipmentlight infantry
(of an industry) engaged in the production of small consumer goods using light machineryCompare heavy (def. 10)
aeronautics (of an aircraft) having a maximum take-off weight less than 5670 kilograms (12 500 pounds)
chem (of an oil fraction obtained from coal tar) having a boiling range between about 100° and 210°C
(of a railway) having a narrow gauge, or in some cases a standard gauge with speed or load restrictions not applied to a main line
  1. (of a bid) made on insufficient values
  2. (of a player) having failed to take sufficient tricks to make his contract
phonetics prosody (of a syllable, vowel, etc) unaccented or weakly stressed; shortCompare heavy (def. 13) See also light 1 (def. 30)
phonetics the least of three levels of stress in an utterance, in such languages as English
light on informal lacking a sufficient quantity of (something)
make light of to treat as insignificant or trifling


a less common word for lightly
with little equipment, baggage, etcto travel light

verb lights, lighting, lighted or lit (lɪt) (intr)

(esp of birds) to settle or land after flight
to get down from a horse, vehicle, etc
(foll by on or upon) to come upon unexpectedly
to strike or fall onthe choice lighted on me

Derived Formslightish, adjectivelightly, adverblightness, noun

Word Origin for light

Old English lēoht; related to Dutch licht, Gothic leihts

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 come to light
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for come to light




Electromagnetic radiation that has a wavelength in the range from about 4,000 (violet) to about 7,700 (red) angstroms and may be perceived by the normal unaided human eye.
Electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for come to light



Electromagnetic radiation that can be perceived by the human eye. It is made up of electromagnetic waves with wavelengths between 4 X 10-7 and 7 X 10-7 meters. Light, and all other electromagnetic radiation, travels at a speed of about 299,728 km (185,831 mi) per second in a vacuum. See also photon.
Electromagnetic energy of a wavelength just outside the range the human eye can detect, such as infrared light and ultraviolet light. See Note at electromagnetic radiation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for come to light


The type of electromagnetic wave that is visible to the human eye. Visible light runs along a spectrum from the short wavelengths of violet to the longer wavelengths of red. (See photon.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with come to light

come to light

Be clearly revealed or exposed, as in New facts about evolution have come to light with the latest fossil discoveries in Africa. Miles Coverdale had this idiom in his translation of the Bible (Ezekiel 16:57): “And before thy wickednesse came to light.” [First half of 1500s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with light

  • light a fire under
  • light as a feather
  • light at the end of the tunnel
  • light dawned, the
  • lighten up
  • light heart
  • light into
  • lightning never strikes twice in the same place
  • light on
  • light out
  • light up

also see:

  • begin to see daylight (see the light of day)
  • bring to light
  • come to light
  • go light on
  • green light
  • heavy (light) heart
  • hide one's light
  • in a good (bad) light
  • in the cold light of day
  • in the light of
  • lace (light) into
  • leading light
  • make light of
  • many hands make light work
  • once over lightly
  • out cold (like a light)
  • see the light
  • shed light on
  • sweetness and light
  • travel light
  • trip the light fantastic
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.