Origin of lightweight

First recorded in 1765–75; light2 + weight
Related formsul·tra·light·weight, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lightweight

Contemporary Examples of lightweight

Historical Examples of lightweight

  • I should like him to be a lightweight, so as to be able to ride with me.

  • He entered in the lightweight class in the Harvard Gymnasium, March 22, 1879.

    Theodore Roosevelt

    Edmund Lester Pearson

  • At any rate our lightweight is one point in our favour, and another is our light-hands.

  • He was a football player and a lightweight boxer of no mean ability.

    The Rope of Gold

    Roy J. Snell

  • Many in fact would have had no hesitation in classing him as a lightweight.

British Dictionary definitions for lightweight



of a relatively light weight
not serious; trivial


a person or animal of a relatively light weight
  1. a professional boxer weighing 130–135 pounds (59–61 kg)
  2. an amateur boxer weighing 57–60 kg (126–132 pounds)
  3. (as modifier)the lightweight contender
a wrestler in a similar weight category (usually 115–126 pounds (52–57 kg))
informal a person of little importance or influence
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 lightweight

also light-weight, 1773 in horse-racing, also in pugilism; from light (adj.1) + weight. Figurative sense of "inconsequential" first attested 1809.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper