Main definitions of alight in English

: alight1alight2

alight1

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 (of a bird) descend from the air and settle.

    ‘a lovely blue swallow alighted on a branch’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On another occasion, an origami bird alights by letters in a banner hanging on a wall.’
    • ‘Clearly there is some reason why these birds of passage have alighted here, and I hope they're having fun.’
    • ‘The white bird alighted behind the other, his huge wings spread in protection and possession.’
    land, come down, come to rest, touch down, light, arrive, descend
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Descend from a train, bus, or other form of transportation.
      ‘the conductor alights to push the cable car completely around’
      • ‘Indeed I spoke with one person who had just alighted from a train the day after the closing celebrations of the games.’
      • ‘Watts, 23, of Lowan Drive, Everton, was seen alighting from a train from Liverpool before meeting Arnold in his distinctive yellow car.’
      • ‘Police - using a drug-detecting sniffer dog - swooped on suspect passengers boarding and alighting from trains.’
      • ‘Passengers alighting taxis at the transport hub exited through the bus depot entrance near the lighthouse.’
      • ‘Thankfully, it was Jurong East already, and I alighted from the train feeling very glad.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘From the overbridge the pair warned passengers alighting from the train to avoid the Leeds fans by going a different way.’
      • ‘She alighted the train and walked the short distance to her flat.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As soon as I alighted from the train at the station I knew the ‘breeze’ would become a storm.’
      • ‘A man travelling on a northbound Northern Line train stabbed a woman as he alighted from the train at Euston.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We alighted from the train and I stood nervously as my mother and her one-time true love embraced awkwardly.’
      • ‘After a pleasant trip, Richard and I alighted from the train at Kal.’
      • ‘I will definitely be more cautious in the future when boarding or alighting from a train.’
      • ‘It was dark at night in Bandra as I alighted from the local train.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I alighted from the train at Huddersfield and caught a bus to New Mill.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • alight on

    • Find by chance; notice.

      ‘her eyes alighted on the item in question’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Her fingers alight on a blue-bound novel and she opens it randomly.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He briefly alights on the historical context of Mongolian expansionism.’
      • ‘The eye alights on a shoe here, the leg of a doll, bedding, pictures and shards of broken mirror.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As a full-paid up member of the Dessert Club, my beady little eyes glinted in delight when they alighted on the puddings.’
      • ‘Settling down with a cup of tea and the sports section of the Sunday paper, my eye alighted on an article.’
      • ‘Your glance alights on a lean volume or skinny pamphlet; your fingertip tugs it out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, one reporter, from the Times, was allowed to have 20 guesses before alighting on Kelly's name.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His gaze alighted on the journalist Eleanor Mills, by chance the stepdaughter of a Cabinet minister.’
      • ‘One evening, head on pillow, running through the failures of the day, my mind alighted on one particularly dissatisfying issue.’
      • ‘However my eyes alighted on passion cake.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

alight

/əˈlīt/

Main definitions of alight in English

: alight1alight2

alight2

adjective

  • 1[predicative] On fire; burning.

    ‘the house was alight when the firemen arrived’
    ‘flammable liquid was set alight’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And as soon as it's dumped, it's usually set alight, sending smoke into their houses.’
    • ‘Cars were also set alight close to Leinster House, the Irish Parliament Buildings, amid heightening violence.’
    • ‘The fire was still alight, as a burning island floating on the water filled pit.’
    • ‘Oh good I thought, but apparently I slept through the car being set alight, the firemen coming and a tow truck.’
    • ‘The fire in the bucket set alight the sundeck and quickly spread to the rear of the house.’
    • ‘Everything was in shambles, set alight with fire and misted by smoke.’
    • ‘The Scout Group's base, in was completely gutted by fire after it was deliberately set alight last night.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Many houses were alight and the fire was now enormous.’
    • ‘The carpet and décor caught alight from the flames and the temperature rose in an instant.’
    • ‘Rommel ordered houses upstream of the crossing point to be set alight in order to provide a smoke-screen.’
    • ‘There are always little fires being set alight every day.’
    • ‘A burning car exploded and shattered the front room window of a house in Rawcliffe Avenue, Breightmet, after being set alight early today.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A sub-standard home is scheduled to be set alight by fire crews, then demolished by a digger.’
    • ‘Fire officers are certain her faulty electric blanket started the fire in which her hair and nightdress caught alight.’
    • ‘The house was petrol bombed and set alight several times during this time.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Years later he would confess among his past sins the desire to set alight the house with his mother and stepfather in it.’
    on fire, ablaze, aflame, in flames, flaming, burning, blazing, raging, fiery, lit, lighted, ignited
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Shining 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Midori chirped, her face alight with excitement.’
      • ‘His face was alight with an exultant expression.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Captain shrieked, his face alight with fury.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His blonde hair was bright and neatly combed, his soft brown eyes alight with the essence of life itself.’
      • ‘It certainly seems to have failed to set Dublin alight with our more customary northern passion.’
      • ‘The cemetery is alight with candles that night.’
      • ‘But celebrations were happier in Australia, where Sydney's famous harbour was alight with colourful fireworks.’
      • ‘The market stalls were alight with radiant colour; silk ribbons, fur scarves in all the shades of the rainbow.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was he who set the new era alight with three tries against the French in Paris in 2000.’
      • ‘The wolf turned around, his eyes 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I remember this painting setting me alight with inspiration 30 years ago.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

alight

/əˈlīt/