- 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.
- nimbly; quickly: to leap lightly aside.
- 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.
- easily; without trouble or effort: Lightly come, lightly go.
- frivolously; flippantly: to behave lightly.
- airily; buoyantly: flags floating lightly.
Origin of lightly
Related Wordseasily, delicately, casually, tenderly, moderately, gingerly, softly, simply, mildly, freely, quietly, slightly, sparsely, faintly, subtly, carelessly, indifferently, nimbly, peacefully, readily
Examples from the Web for lightly
And it often travels so lightly that you can forget you are clothed in its benefits.What Would Happen if I Got in White Cop’s Face?
December 30, 2014
On a lightly floured board, roll each pastry to an 11-inch square.Make These Barefoot Contessa Chicken Pot Pies
November 29, 2014
Future lives, careers and attitudes were being determined in this lightly regulated fever.The Castration of Alan Turing, Britain’s Code-Breaking WWII Hero
November 29, 2014
They also emboldened the Kurdish defenders, who are lightly armed and fending off heavy armor.America’s WTF Air War in Syria
October 6, 2014
He had been involved in an accident while he “was lightly hovering.”Monty Python Forgot Their Lines on Opening Night, but Who Cares?
July 2, 2014
The moral customs of their countries were possibly held by them lightly.The Conquest of Fear
But daddy's attentions were for few, and not to be lightly received.
She had kissed him lightly on the cheek before he knew what she intended to do.
Yates caught up a handful of sand, and flung it lightly against the pane.In the Midst of Alarms
"Been rolling that to the top of the mountain," he said lightly.Her Father's Daughter
Word Origin and History for lightly
Old English leohtlice "so as not to be heavy" (of material things, but also of sleep, blows, etc.); cognate with Old Frisian lichtelik, Old High German lihtlihho, German leichtlich, Old Norse lettlega (see light (adj.1)). Meaning "frivolously, indifferently" is from early 13c.
Idioms and Phrases with lightly
see get off (lightly); once over lightly.