Definition of light up in US English:

light up

phrasal verb

  • (with reference to a person's face or eyes) suddenly become or cause to be animated with liveliness or joy.

    ‘his eyes lit up and he smiled’
    ‘a smile of delight lit up her face’
    • ‘The event brought obvious delight to the children as their faces lit up upon recognizing an inmate from previous meetings.’
    • ‘Danny's eyes briefly welled-up and a smile again lit up his face.’
    • ‘She turned her chair away from me and her face lit up.’
    • ‘Her eyes light up and her face brightens as she recalls the events which have shaped a region.’
    • ‘As for the race itself, Diane breaks into a beaming smile and her eyes light up as she recalls that sunny day at York Racecourse last May.’
    • ‘Three-year-old Evelyn North's eyes lit up at a bag of crisps, but she seemed distinctly disappointed with its contents.’
    • ‘As Ron Whitelaw stood on top of 2,000 ft Grisedale Pike, a smile of satisfaction lit up his face.’
    • ‘Her family will always remember the big smile, which lit up her face.’
    • ‘Then, abruptly, the lines in his forehead disappeared and his eyes lit up with delight.’
    • ‘Todd's face lit up in a full grin as he leaned over and pulled Rachel into a tight hug.’
    • ‘Mikey's eyes traveled over to the small car, instantly lighting up at the sight.’
    • ‘His eyes lit up, and he excitedly told me that in all his years of studying hypnotherapy, he'd never considered that.’
    • ‘His ragged tanned face lights up with laughter, remembering old ways and old mates, all long since passed, but still there to be savoured in his memory.’
    • ‘Her green eyes lit up, brightening her pretty face.’
    • ‘My eyes lit up, this is really my life when it is working at its finest.’
    • ‘They smiled brightly at the older boy, their eyes lighting up with excitement.’
    • ‘Her face lights up with a smile as she takes the baby in her arms.’
    • ‘Audrey watched the exchange expectantly, a bright smile suddenly lighting up her entire face.’
    • ‘She grinned suddenly, her face lighting up, her eyes turning to tawny amber-green.’
    • ‘It was the only time in his whole life an adult had ventured affection and a smile lit the usually wary, suspicious face.’