Main definitions of alight in English

: alight1alight2

alight1

verb

  • 1no object, with adverbial of place Descend from a train, bus, or other form of transport.

    ‘he was the only passenger to alight from the train’
    ‘visitors should alight at the Fort Road stop’
    ‘the conductor alights to push the cable car completely around’
    • ‘Imagine the safety challenge we'd have boarding or alighting from a train in the brief instant it pulls up at a depot, if the space separating the train from the platform were an ever-widening divide.’
    • ‘Indeed I spoke with one person who had just alighted from a train the day after the closing celebrations of the games.’
    • ‘She alighted the train and walked the short distance to her flat.’
    • ‘Passengers waiting on platforms do not wait for people to alight before they board trains and so when the changeover occurs, pushing and shoving becomes the order of the day.’
    • ‘Police - using a drug-detecting sniffer dog - swooped on suspect passengers boarding and alighting from trains.’
    • ‘As soon as I alighted from the train at the station I knew the ‘breeze’ would become a storm.’
    • ‘For the twentieth time since I alighted from the train, I berated myself for not bringing an umbrella with me, flinching as a speck of water flew into my eye.’
    • ‘A man travelling on a northbound Northern Line train stabbed a woman as he alighted from the train at Euston.’
    • ‘From the overbridge the pair warned passengers alighting from the train to avoid the Leeds fans by going a different way.’
    • ‘After a pleasant trip, Richard and I alighted from the train at Kal.’
    • ‘Passengers alighting taxis at the transport hub exited through the bus depot entrance near the lighthouse.’
    • ‘I alighted from the train at Huddersfield and caught a bus to New Mill.’
    • ‘It was dark at night in Bandra as I alighted from the local train.’
    • ‘Arriving into Dusseldorf's hauptbahnhof, a massed brigade of purple-shirted Frankfurters were alighting from an adjoining train, here despite their own team's absence.’
    • ‘Watts, 23, of Lowan Drive, Everton, was seen alighting from a train from Liverpool before meeting Arnold in his distinctive yellow car.’
    • ‘I will definitely be more cautious in the future when boarding or alighting from a train.’
    • ‘Thankfully, it was Jurong East already, and I alighted from the train feeling very glad.’
    • ‘We alighted from the train and I stood nervously as my mother and her one-time true love embraced awkwardly.’
    • ‘The film will show Marsha leaving the cinema, getting on the bus, alighting at Percy Road,, walking towards her home, then being discovered by neighbours.’
    • ‘Passengers alighting from trains at the city railway station have no easy access to the two bus stations; the subway is of little help and has been vandalised.’
    get off, step off, get down
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a bird) descend from the air and settle.
      ‘a lovely blue swallow alighted on a branch’
      • ‘On another occasion, an origami bird alights by letters in a banner hanging on a wall.’
      • ‘The white bird alighted behind the other, his huge wings spread in protection and possession.’
      • ‘A big, majestic study for this sculpture, in pastel, charcoal and acrylic on brown paper, finds two shadowy birds alighting, and a ghostly doubled head, its mouth stretched painfully wide.’
      • ‘Clearly there is some reason why these birds of passage have alighted here, and I hope they're having fun.’
      • ‘Like birds alighting for a while on a newly seeded lawn, they will peck away at all the possibilities until they have exhausted this area and then move on to another form.’
      land, come down, come to rest, touch down, light, arrive, descend
      View synonyms

Phrasal Verbs

  • alight on

    • Find by chance; notice.

      ‘her eyes alighted on the item in question’
      • ‘The eye alights on a shoe here, the leg of a doll, bedding, pictures and shards of broken mirror.’
      • ‘Your glance alights on a lean volume or skinny pamphlet; your fingertip tugs it out.’
      • ‘However, one reporter, from the Times, was allowed to have 20 guesses before alighting on Kelly's name.’
      • ‘However my eyes alighted on passion cake.’
      • ‘Each drawer pulled or cabinet opened was an adventure as Roy's gaze swept across the objects and alighted on one or another splendid or quirky piece.’
      • ‘Out of 150 or so shares, theirs were alighted on the two greatest corporate disaster zones in the big stock arena.’
      • ‘I don't mean this to be a criticism, but doctors tend to lump any ache or pain which alights on me in with my cancer.’
      • ‘It does not seem to have struck the organisers as at all odd or ironic that a sustainable development summit should have alighted on this city as its venue.’
      • ‘One evening, head on pillow, running through the failures of the day, my mind alighted on one particularly dissatisfying issue.’
      • ‘His gaze alighted on the journalist Eleanor Mills, by chance the stepdaughter of a Cabinet minister.’
      • ‘His hand alights on the Virgin Mother in her blue robe; his thumb presses feverishly over the contours of her face and form, then freezes as recognition of some kind descends.’
      • ‘As a full-paid up member of the Dessert Club, my beady little eyes glinted in delight when they alighted on the puddings.’
      • ‘Choosing a programme for his tribute concert was easy, says Currie, who has alighted on some of the most exciting and varied choral works in the canon.’
      • ‘He postulated a possibility that they may not be found and that is the only part of his statement that you're now alighting on.’
      • ‘Her fingers alight on a blue-bound novel and she opens it randomly.’
      • ‘In adopting it he alights on areas that others might have missed and creates what is surely some of the most extraordinary and original writing currently in print.’
      • ‘Settling down with a cup of tea and the sports section of the Sunday paper, my eye alighted on an article.’
      • ‘He briefly alights on the historical context of Mongolian expansionism.’
      • ‘Asked to pick out a product with the greatest potential, Cairnduff alights on a set of two paintings - one of a man, the other of a woman in a bar - at £60 the pair.’
      • ‘Cosima and her daughters, alighting on Winifred, sent Siegfried on his journey to see her with reminders about his need to fulfil ‘his highest duty’ for the family.’

Origin

Old English ālīhtan, from ā- (as an intensifier) + līhtan ‘descend’ (see light).

Pronunciation

alight

/əˈlʌɪt/

Main definitions of alight in English

: alight1alight2

alight2

adjective

  • 1predicative On fire; burning.

    ‘the house was alight when the firemen arrived’
    ‘flammable liquid was set alight’
    • ‘The fire was still alight, as a burning island floating on the water filled pit.’
    • ‘Everything was in shambles, set alight with fire and misted by smoke.’
    • ‘And as soon as it's dumped, it's usually set alight, sending smoke into their houses.’
    • ‘Oh good I thought, but apparently I slept through the car being set alight, the firemen coming and a tow truck.’
    • ‘Rommel ordered houses upstream of the crossing point to be set alight in order to provide a smoke-screen.’
    • ‘A search of the gutted property, one of a row of houses set alight just a week earlier, was made after a neighbour reported hearing cries for help.’
    • ‘Fire officers are certain her faulty electric blanket started the fire in which her hair and nightdress caught alight.’
    • ‘The carpet and décor caught alight from the flames and the temperature rose in an instant.’
    • ‘About 5.00 am the Paschal Fire will be set alight and it will be blazing brightly in the sky as people file up for the 6.00m Mass.’
    • ‘The 60-year-old was trapped inside his home for crucial minutes while fire crews dealt with rubbish set alight by pranksters on the other side of town.’
    • ‘The house was petrol bombed and set alight several times during this time.’
    • ‘Many houses were alight and the fire was now enormous.’
    • ‘A sub-standard home is scheduled to be set alight by fire crews, then demolished by a digger.’
    • ‘Years later he would confess among his past sins the desire to set alight the house with his mother and stepfather in it.’
    • ‘The fire in the bucket set alight the sundeck and quickly spread to the rear of the house.’
    • ‘A burning car exploded and shattered the front room window of a house in Rawcliffe Avenue, Breightmet, after being set alight early today.’
    • ‘Cars were also set alight close to Leinster House, the Irish Parliament Buildings, amid heightening violence.’
    • ‘There are always little fires being set alight every day.’
    • ‘Mr Swales said they were also concerned about surrounding businesses as the blaze started to spread and set alight a fourth floor fire escape door on an adjoining building.’
    • ‘The Scout Group's base, in was completely gutted by fire after it was deliberately set alight last night.’
    on fire, ablaze, aflame, in flames, flaming, burning, blazing, raging, fiery, lit, lighted, ignited
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Shining brightly.
      ‘a single lamp was alight’
      figurative ‘the boy's face was alight with excitement’
      • ‘If the sitting room we were in was alight with all the lamps I'm sure my face would have looked a color similar to that of a beetroot.’
      • ‘Kathryn nodded; her bright blue eyes alight with excitement.’
      • ‘But celebrations were happier in Australia, where Sydney's famous harbour was alight with colourful fireworks.’
      • ‘The Captain shrieked, his face alight with fury.’
      • ‘Okocha has set English football alight with his increasingly stunning form and dazzling skills, sparking rumours that he is destined for a bigger stage.’
      • ‘Midori chirped, her face alight with excitement.’
      • ‘For a moment, Anna's face would be alight with sunshine, and then the next a shadow of leaves would be cast over it, before it opened into sunlight again.’
      • ‘The wolf turned around, his eyes alight with fury.’
      • ‘When he joined the company as finance director six years ago, the City was alight with speculation that it was about to be taken over.’
      • ‘It was he who set the new era alight with three tries against the French in Paris in 2000.’
      • ‘The cemetery is alight with candles that night.’
      • ‘As I slept, the moon outside shone brightly, and the black sky was alight with stars blinking down over my little neighborhood in suburban New York.’
      • ‘His blonde hair was bright and neatly combed, his soft brown eyes alight with the essence of life itself.’
      • ‘The market stalls were alight with radiant colour; silk ribbons, fur scarves in all the shades of the rainbow.’
      • ‘I remember this painting setting me alight with inspiration 30 years ago.’
      • ‘No sky alight with revelation crowns this picture, only a small triangle congested greeny-yellow by the monsoon, crammed against the top of the frame by the massif.’
      • ‘Her eyes widened with fright and awe; they were alight with a bright white flame, as was every other place on her body she could see.’
      • ‘The chapel was as pretty as the entrance hall, if not more so; every window was adorned with stained glass, and so the whole room was alight with color.’
      • ‘It certainly seems to have failed to set Dublin alight with our more customary northern passion.’
      • ‘His face was alight with an exultant expression.’
      lit up, gleaming, glowing, aglow, ablaze, illuminated, brilliant, bright, shining, radiant, shimmering, sparkling, flashing, dazzling, luminous, incandescent
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • set the world alight

    • see "set the world on fire" at fire
      • ‘Neither sets the world alight in terms of performance but both cars boast good fuel economy and useful amounts of torque.’
      • ‘Up front neither side exactly set the world alight.’
      • ‘The BAJ has hardly set the world alight since it won recognition and the last pay claim was a shambles.’
      • ‘His debut in a Real shirt will probably set viewing records, but his football of the last few seasons is hardly likely to set the world alight in superstar company.’
      • ‘They may not be setting the world alight anymore but it's nice to see that the group are still there smouldering away after six albums.’
      • ‘By all reports the team haven't been setting the world alight and hopefully we can concentrate on our performance and get a decent result that we really need after the first two results.’
      • ‘Andy Reid may not have set the world alight against Brazil but he is a quality player and will be a big player for Ireland in future.’
      • ‘They return here with a collection of mostly new tunes that aren't going to set the world alight, but will bring considerable happiness and comfort to devotees.’
      • ‘Despite his youth the blond-haired football fanatic has set the soccer world alight with his skills.’
      • ‘Internet based car dealing has failed to set the world alight, and is lagging far behind other sectors making the shift to e-business.’
      • ‘It is going to be a real struggle and she won't be setting the world alight with how fast she runs it.’
      • ‘All the youngsters we have left are okay players, but not going to set the world alight.’
      • ‘Without setting the world alight, the premier Irish steeplechaser of his type demonstrated his well-being, and he continues to look a potent force.’
      • ‘There are a few specialist agencies in the mother city that are setting the world alight.’
      • ‘Munnelly set the world alight in 2003 but he was curtailed last year with injury.’
      • ‘Hawick have ground out results this season to become the Champions without setting the world alight in terms of their scoring prowess.’
      • ‘He is a vastly experienced and talented man who just doesn't play the sort of tennis that sets the world alight.’
      • ‘Football writers, supporters, and managers seem to so often underestimate the importance of a good partnership up front, even if individually one of the two forwards doesn't set the world alight.’
      • ‘He hasn't set the world alight there and will be desperate to turn in a masterful display in the potentially decisive third game.’
      • ‘Whilst in Sligo Moran certainly made improvements without ever setting the world alight.’

Origin

Late Middle English: probably from the phrase on a light (= lighted) fire.

Pronunciation

alight

/əˈlʌɪt/