Definition of sidelight in English:



  • 1A light placed at the side of something.

    ‘a designer village with sidelights along the pathways’
    • ‘He uses a sidelight to pick out the ridges and hollows of a Calla lily.’
    • ‘He turned on the sidelights as he went through the door.’
    • ‘True to his word, officers had summoned them the night before into the open field, lit dimly by sidelights, to brief them on a full army exercise scheduled to take place the following afternoon.’
    • ‘His white pate was visible in the glim of the sidelights as he climbed out.’
    • ‘The choice is to light from above with the possibility of blackouts, or to use sidelights with no blackouts.’
    • ‘He in turn confers with Geronimo, the local stage tech and they work something out with sidelights.’
    • ‘The sidelights were positioned to project shadows on the walls to resemble the fighting armies that the singers spoke about.’
    • ‘She edges past the sidelights and hangs in the glimmering darkness, tensely counting the music until her next stage entrance.’
    • ‘Climbing into an empty bed, Jim turns off the sidelight and watches the shadows huddling against the floral wallpaper.’
    1. 1.1British A small light on either side of the front of a motor vehicle, used in poor light when full headlights are not required.
      • ‘GA and I both notice that when we get in the car, the sidelights on the Range Rover ahead of us aren't as bright as they were when we parked.’
      • ‘The light was becoming dusky so I decided that sidelights were probably the way to go.’
      • ‘One by one they turned their sidelights on and kept their descent going.’
      • ‘Becky Abbott, prosecuting, told magistrates in Devizes on Tuesday that a police patrol pulled over a white Vauxhall Astra that had been driving through the Market Place with only sidelights on.’
      • ‘These are the same ‘cats eyes’ as at the crash scene and, if he had reduced his lights to sidelights there, it would be an appropriate explanation of why the driver lost control.’
      • ‘But for your own safety, look at those cars coming towards you in the fog and rain and note which ones are most difficult to see, those with headlights on or those with silly little sidelights?’
      • ‘The bikes that majestically stood on either side of the stage with their sidelights flickering welcomed the gathering.’
      • ‘However replacement glass and glass for new buildings could be supplied with this coating, as could a range of other glass products such as car wing mirrors, backlights and sidelights.’
      • ‘Both the xenon dipped headlights and sidelights automatically follow the direction of the front wheels.’
      • ‘Wander round to the back and the rear light clusters are designed to resemble the iris of an eye, with the sidelights, brake lights and indicators arranged in concentric circles.’
      lamp, torch, flashlight
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2sidelights A ship's navigation lights.
      • ‘Power and sailing vessels less than 20 meters in length may choose to install a single combination red/green sidelight at the bow.’
      • ‘Your inspection may show that the sidelights (red port, green starboard), the white stern light and the white maneuvering light are all in order.’
      • ‘In regard to maintenance, if your sidelights are more than a few years old, check them at night to see if the lens has perhaps faded from the sun's rays.’
      • ‘He first saw one white masthead light of the CONTSHIP SUCCESS at a distance visually estimated at about 4.5 miles and he subsequently saw both masthead lights and the green sidelight at a distance estimated by radar at about 3.8 miles.’
      • ‘I see the lights of the Navy in darkness - the masthead lights, and red and green sidelights and stern lights.’
    3. 1.3mass noun Natural light coming from the side.
      ‘through the window blazed the cold light of winter morning; sidelight, the most harsh’
      • ‘Bold and large textures, such as the bark of a tree or the rough surface of the door detail, are best revealed by strong, direct sidelight.’
      • ‘When we think of Vermeer we think of light, that high, grey-white Northern European sidelight flooding into a domestic interior, sometimes finding a moment of warmth, almost always a solemn concentration on domestic ritual.’
  • 2A narrow window or pane of glass set alongside a door or larger window.

    ‘we added French doors with sidelights and a fanlight overhead’
    • ‘Federal doorways may have been preferred because of the appeal of the delicately mullioned fanlights and sidelights that usually framed them.’
    • ‘They reused the original front door, but widened it with identical leaded-glass sidelights.’
    • ‘The timber treatment continues inside, its texture enhanced by the sidelight, so the visitor easily makes the connection.’
    • ‘There were about two thousand individual pieces of glass in the five-section figure of Saint Michael and dedication plaque, and a similar number of pieces in the adjacent sidelights.’
    • ‘Etched and leaded glass doors, transoms and sidelights boldly decorate the entrance, while providing privacy to various spaces in the home.’
    • ‘Above each doorway a window with sidelights is capped by a soapstone lintel.’
    • ‘Clem looked through one of the sidelights making sure she was walking away.’
    • ‘Pella's extensive decorative glass collection includes a variety of matching transoms and sidelights.’
    • ‘Entries often showcase glass in the door, plus sidelights and transoms (windows over the door).’
    • ‘The only embellishments are the narrow sidelights flanking the front door and the small transom window above it.’
    • ‘The new house, with an entrance with sidelights and paneled pilasters, is more commodious although somewhat less elegant than Johnston's previous home.’
    • ‘I have a large oak front door with 2 leaded glass sidelights.’
    • ‘New French doors, sidelights, and transom windows also open the rear of the master-suite wing.’
  • 3A piece of incidental information that helps to clarify or enliven a subject.

    ‘one has to wade through pages of extraneous material in order to discover these sidelights on the management of an estate’
    • ‘The book is positively packed with most interesting stories and medical sidelights.’
    • ‘And the end of George V throws an illuminating sidelight on Palace politics.’
    • ‘Those already familiar with Korean history and culture and with the Korean War will find this book to be a rich and fascinating feast, filled with intriguing sidelights on well-known personalities and events.’
    • ‘There were sidelights too, upon the thoughts and emotions that might have stirred up Shylock to act as he did towards those whom he felt had forced him to suffer ostracism and humiliation.’
    • ‘In a little local sidelight, it was the Yuan dynasty that first started to breed horses in the Penghu archipelago for use in southern China.’
    • ‘While a Kolkata newspaper always carried a diary on the sidelights of life in the city, a Delhi newspaper devoted space to some unknown and many forgotten traditions, legends and monuments of the city.’
    • ‘That is not the explicit focus of this effort, but there are some relevant analyses and sidelights, that are taken up again in the concluding essays.’
    • ‘Each speaker recounts the way that life was, aspects unique to their particular local region, often touching on unexpected sidelights and incisive observations.’
    • ‘The tableaux provided interesting sidelights on different cultures.’
    • ‘A curious sidelight on gourd-growing emerges from the reminiscences of Kinau Wilder, the niece of the botanist Gerrit Parmile Wilder.’
    • ‘An interesting sidelight of this champion youngster's career has been the schooling.’
    • ‘This isn't just some sidelight to the story or new detail.’
    • ‘Young's Bluecrest is the biggest seafood producer in the UK and has thrown an interesting sidelight on the debate about cod stocks.’
    • ‘An interesting sidelight offered by the Encyclopedia is information on the Chaplain Support Operations, an area overlooked in Second World War histories.’
    • ‘The author's researches have quarried further bits of biographical data and sometimes helpful sidelights and background information on various situations and personalities.’
    • ‘He's also the world's foremost authority on the Max Fleischer cartoon studio but that's more like an interesting sidelight.’
    • ‘A sidelight is shed by a broken inscription which archaeologists discovered some seventy years ago at Delphi.’
    • ‘There is an interesting sidelight on the implementation of the no-smoking ban in Ballina pubs.’
    • ‘For readers of his latest novel, Out of Ireland, the stories of these two girls also provide a fascinating sidelight and illumination of the characters and events in the novel.’
    • ‘An interesting sidelight in the enumerated statutes of the Hammurabi code is that there is no statute number 13 - - even in ancient Mesopotamia, 13 was considered to be an unlucky number that should be avoided.’