with little weight, force, intensity, etc.; gently: to press lightly on a door bell.
to only a small amount or degree; slightly: lightly fried eggs.
with a lack of concern; indifferently; slightly: to think lightly of one's achievements.
cheerfully; without complaining: to take bad news lightly.
without due consideration or reason (often used negatively): an offer not to be refused lightly.
without trouble or effort; easily: Lightly come, lightly go.
frivolously; flippantly: to behave lightly.
airily; buoyantly: flags floating lightly.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use lightly in a sentence
West Maui is home to some notable restaurants, from Lahaina’s Star Noodle, with its ultra-fresh noodles and lightly battered tempura shrimp, to the seafood selections at Mala Ocean Tavern and its views of vessels at anchor.
Molded quickly from local clay, baked dry in the sun or lightly fired, they were clearly not put on a shelf to be admired or worshipped.What archaeologists got wrong about female statues, goddesses, and fertility | Annalee Newitz | February 10, 2021 | Popular-Science
You can check out our full conversation in the video above, or read highlights in the transcript below, lightly edited for length and clarity.How Gideon the Ninth author Tamsyn Muir queers the space opera | Constance Grady | February 5, 2021 | Vox
AMA — “World League”West London’s own AMA is not to be taken lightly.Soulection’s Joe Kay Presents ‘A Beginner’s Guide To Future Sounds’ | Brande Victorian | February 5, 2021 | Essence.com
It’s an incredible story, and it’s something we don’t take lightly.Pacers’ Caris LeVert has successful surgery to remove cancerous growth; team expects full recovery | Des Bieler | January 27, 2021 | Washington Post
And it often travels so lightly that you can forget you are clothed in its benefits.
“We do not take attacks on our police officers lightly,” Bratton said.
Snow fell lightly Wednesday as a League member standing in front of City Hall read the demands.Eric Garner Protesters Have a Direct Line to City Hall | Jacob Siegel | December 11, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
On a lightly floured board, roll each pastry to an 11-inch square.
Future lives, careers and attitudes were being determined in this lightly regulated fever.The Castration of Alan Turing, Britain’s Code-Breaking WWII Hero | Clive Irving | November 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
He heard himself saying lightly, though with apparent lack of interest: 'How curious, Lettice, how very odd!The Wave | Algernon Blackwood
We have said it had been lightly laden at starting, which was the reason of the tremendous pace at which it travelled.The Giant of the North | R.M. Ballantyne
He rose and kissed her lightly on the forehead, experience teaching him to avoid a stray hair from the carefully built coiffure.Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
Its tiny wreath of smoke curled lightly about her, mounting up in the warm, bright room.Bella Donna | Robert Hichens
She slept lightly at first, half awake and drowsily attentive to the things about her.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
Other Idioms and Phrases with lightly
see get off (lightly); once over lightly.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.