See more synonyms for daylight on
  1. the light of day: At the end of the tunnel they could see daylight.
  2. public knowledge or awareness; openness: The newspaper article brought the scandal out into the daylight.
  3. the period of day; daytime.
  4. daybreak; dawn.
  5. a clear space or gap, especially between two people or things that should be close together, as between the knees of a horseback rider and a saddle.
  6. disagreement or mental distance between two people: There's very little daylight between the two senators' stances on the issue.
  7. daylights, Informal. mental soundness, consciousness, or wits: The noise scared the daylights out of us.I'd like to beat/knock the daylights out of him!
  1. Photography. of, relating to, or being film made for exposure by the natural light of day.
verb (used with object), day·light·ed or day·lit, day·light·ing.
  1. to suffuse (an interior space) with artificial light or with daylight filtered through translucent materials, as roofing panels.
  1. see daylight, to progress to a point where completion of a difficult task seems possible or probable.

Origin of daylight

Middle English word dating back to 1175–1225; see origin at day, light1
Related formspre·day·light, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for daylight

dawn, sunshine, daytime, sunlight, light, aurora, daybreak, day, sunrise

Examples from the Web for daylight

Contemporary Examples of daylight

Historical Examples of daylight

  • It was still daylight, and the door of the next dwelling was open.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • About daylight I reached a forest in which I could conceal myself during the day.

    Biography of a Slave

    Charles Thompson

  • It is a painful truth that by daylight he was ashamed of his part of the transaction.

  • Here was her old friend and neighbor asking to take her out for a daylight ride.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • There is little time for pleasant talk on a farm while daylight lasts.

British Dictionary definitions for daylight


    1. light from the sun
    2. (as modifier)daylight film
  1. the period when it is light; daytime
  2. daybreak
  3. see daylight
    1. to understand something previously obscure
    2. to realize that the end of a difficult task is approaching
See also daylights
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 daylight

c.1300 (as two words from mid-12c., daies liht), from day + light (n.); its figurative sense of "clearly visible open space between two things" (1820) has been used in references to boats in a race, U.S. football running backs avoiding opposing tackles, a rider and a saddle, and the rim of a glass and the surface of the liquor. The (living) daylights that you beat out of someone were originally slang for "the eyes" (1752), extended figuratively to the vital senses.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with daylight


In addition to the idiom beginning with daylight

  • daylight robbery

also see:

  • beat the living daylights out of
  • begin to see daylight
  • in broad daylight
  • let daylight through
  • scare out of one's wits (the living daylights out of)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.