Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

light - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb light pronunciation in British English /laɪt/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlelighting
past tenselit
past participlelit
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [transitive] to make something start to burn
    Amy lit a cigarette.
    1. a.
      [intransitive] to start to burn
      The fire won’t light if the wood is wet.
  2. 2



    light up

    [transitive] [often passive] to make a place brighter by giving it light
    light by: The room was lit by candlelight.
    dimly/badly/brightly lit: The room was dimly lit.


phrasal verbs


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog