Definition of slight in US English:

slight

adjective

  • 1Small in degree; inconsiderable.

    ‘a slight increase’
    ‘a slight ankle injury’
    ‘the chance of success is very slight’
    • ‘A slight degree of petulance had crept into his voice.’
    • ‘There may be in fact none, of course, but notions of that kind perhaps still inform the provision to a slight degree.’
    • ‘Customers do get us mixed-up however, which can cause a slight degree of chaos with orders!’
    • ‘This results in fluid retention of a slight degree when you are able to drink adequately and replete your exercise fluid losses.’
    • ‘Colors often look muted and washed out with there also being a slight degree of edge enhancement rearing its ugly head.’
    • ‘They improve performance to a slight degree, but not by any factor that a typical user would notice, he says.’
    • ‘Having said that, the latter does play its part, but only to a slight degree.’
    • ‘Aerodynamic limitations have been avoided to a slight degree at almost prohibitive cost and with consequent contamination.’
    • ‘My hands were getting clammy and I was feeling a slight degree of nervousness.’
    • ‘We couldn't have asked for a better day, around 19 degrees Celsius, a slight breeze and hardly a cloud in the sky.’
    • ‘Five of six genes, regardless of X or autosomal location, are increased in expression to a slight degree in mutant females.’
    • ‘Thomas is also exhibiting more obvious signs of agoraphobia, although of a slight degree.’
    • ‘In virtually every case, however, the degree of degradation was slight enough to be inconsequential.’
    • ‘Once you're out on the streets you do have a slight degree of autonomy.’
    • ‘There were 21 injuries as a result of accidental fires a slight increase from last year but half of those reported were from just two incidents.’
    • ‘Hence, the difference could only be explained by the use of a different negative, copied from the original with a slight degree of enlargement.’
    • ‘However, even the moderate winds during my drive caused the roadster to react with a slight degree of cowl shake.’
    • ‘Now that mightn't be just be in number of cases, it might just be in slight increases in margin return over time.’
    • ‘The air temperature is 26 degrees and there is slight westerly breeze blowing.’
    • ‘All human eyes have a slight degree of farsightedness at birth.’
    small, modest, little, tiny, minute, inappreciable, imperceptible, infinitesimal, hardly worth mentioning, negligible, inconsiderable, insignificant, minimal, marginal
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    1. 1.1 (especially of a creative work) not profound or substantial; somewhat trivial or superficial.
      ‘a slight plot’
      • ‘The earliest concertos composed for square piano are slight works, diverting but lightweight.’
      • ‘Ultimately, it all sounds rather petty and slight.’
      • ‘Taylor understands the idiom quite perfectly and he manages to bring a grandeur and nobility to the admittedly slight work.’
      • ‘He continues to direct good films, even if all of them are rather slight.’
      • ‘This tale is rather slight, but the visual beauty and thrilling action make this a stunning work of animation.’
      • ‘He is too light, too slight, too trivial, a figure with insufficient gravity.’
      • ‘His best work was way behind him by this time, and even now it's rather slight, but I have a soft spot for some of it’
      • ‘Her books are deceptively slight, superficially easy, and so easily misunderstood.’
      • ‘Despite this, cumulatively the threads both between tracks and between the constituent parts of each track appear rather too slight to maintain this listener's engagement.’
      • ‘While intelligent and elegant, they have seemed rather slight and concerned with relatively marginal problems.’
      • ‘It's a slight work, but gives an insight into Puccini's early creativity.’
      • ‘A woman writer who evokes an intensely personal landscape still finds she is dismissed as slight, precious, trivial.’
      • ‘Objectively, the plot is slight, but wrapped up in the details there lurks an epic tale.’
      • ‘You can still interact with people, but those interactions are slight and superficial (in the on-the-surface sense) and ephemeral.’
      • ‘Komorebi is a slight work made up of sketches and vignettes, whose very slightness is one of its most attractive qualities.’
      • ‘Abelard also wrote a slight work of practical advice for his son.’
      • ‘It is all rather slight, but the visual beauty and thrilling action make this a stunning work of animation.’
      • ‘Much of his concert work is slight, mainly because that's all the time he felt he could give.’
      • ‘This is a rather slight movie if I ever saw one, but that doesn't mean it's not an enjoyable one.’
      • ‘I mean, this isn't Shakespeare, it's slight and rather broad comedy.’
      minor, inconsequential, trivial, trifling, unimportant, lightweight, superficial, shallow, of little account, petty, paltry
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  • 2(of a person or their build) not sturdy and strongly built.

    ‘she was slight and delicate-looking’
    • ‘Mona always said that she was fat, when in reality, she was dainty with a slight build.’
    • ‘She is still slight in build, her child's presence not ostensible.’
    • ‘A large ill - fitting black jacket dwarfed his slight figure and his head bowed as he listened to the proceedings through the earphones he required because of a hearing impairment.’
    • ‘Khad's slight build and almost feminine looks gave him a delicate look.’
    • ‘He assessed the slight build, her figure more apparent in the loose but lighter clothing.’
    • ‘He was a slight man wearing owl glasses, with thin brown hair that left a bald spot on the back of his head.’
    • ‘When I started playing I was 80 kg and now I'm up to 94 kg so although I look slight people don't always give me the credit I deserve.’
    • ‘Some days, I am awfully grateful that I am of such a slight build…’
    • ‘She stared over at Tyler who was struggling with a slight man with a thin moustache and a scar over one eye.’
    • ‘The family said Ms Hindson was about 160-170 cm tall and had a very slight build.’
    • ‘She is being lifted bodily by a policeman, easily, for she is slight and frail.’
    • ‘Except for the fact that his hair was a solid black, the thin, slight boy of about fifteen or sixteen bore an uncanny resemblance to Kunihiko.’
    • ‘He was of a slight build, about 5ft 10 in tall and between 30 and 35 years old.’
    • ‘Fowler, whose brilliance defies her slight figure, plugged through to strike partner Helen Wix, who earned a short corner off the foot of Bethan Walsh.’
    • ‘He was short, perhaps even a little smaller than she, and, despite his enveloping cloak, she suspected that he was slight in build as well.’
    • ‘Live, Benson cut a slight figure, which contrasted with the muscular edge given to his exemplary material - highlighting the riffs and choruses to good effect.’
    • ‘The man is white, of slight build and around 5ft 7in.’
    • ‘He's not very skinny, but he's got a very slight build.’
    • ‘She was a rather slight, elderly woman with a nose that resembled the large beak of a macaw.’
    • ‘She was small, and thin, with a slight build, and dark, shoulder-length hair; I couldn't tell if it was black or dark brown.’
    slim, slender, slightly built, petite, diminutive, small, delicate, dainty, small-boned, elfin
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verb

[with object]
  • 1Insult (someone) by treating or speaking of them without proper respect or attention.

    ‘he was careful not to slight a guest’
    • ‘There were plenty who would wish to slight John Brown and Queen Victoria.’
    • ‘A master of the tea ceremony in old Japan once accidentally slighted a soldier.’
    • ‘He can finally seek revenge upon the kids from school who have slighted him in any way.’
    • ‘If any opponent slights his team, you can bet Belichick will find out and let it simmer on his players' minds.’
    • ‘So if you take a swipe at Vermont-please do not slight the troops.’
    • ‘It shows how support for old clients can be profitable and provides advice on how to support them without slighting new clients.’
    • ‘Joey's management company, afraid that the film was slighting their dead client for Johnny, demanded that the film-makers find more interview footage of Joey before okaying the final cut.’
    • ‘They continue to invite his ex-wife over, while slighting my mother.’
    • ‘To return to the country that slighted him as a fully fledged film star would have been sweet revenge, but he could have blown it.’
    • ‘Am I expiating the crime of slighting my father so much?’
    • ‘Do you feel slighted by the early announcement?’
    • ‘My mother was convinced they were slighting us because you were mad at me!’
    • ‘He did not spend time slighting the enemy, but commenced to work on the minds and hearts of the British people.’
    • ‘Not to slight him in any way, but that's a lot of people to know.’
    • ‘It seems Mr Wyatt thought the injured person slighted him in some way but this offence is totally out of character.’
    • ‘And then I thought, well, I was slighted, in quite a significant way.’
    • ‘One is not slighting her in saying that she comes close to, but does not equal, the unsurpassable Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.’
    • ‘When he slights Judy in front of his friends, Dennis is obviously furious, yet we see what kind of a parent he is when he invites her to make her own decision as to whether or not to forgive him.’
    • ‘They can be excessive in their devotions to Carlyle and Henry James and their denunciations can at times be annoying in slighting great writers such as Thackeray and Jane Austen.’
    • ‘Needless to say, the two slighted women had been less than thrilled concerning their banishment and protested their exclusion on a daily basis.’
    insulting, disparaging, belittling, derogatory, disrespectful, denigratory, uncomplimentary, pejorative, abusive, offensive, defamatory, slanderous, libellous, scurrilous
    insult, snub, rebuff, repulse, spurn, treat disrespectfully, give someone the cold shoulder, cold-shoulder, brush off, turn one's back on, keep at arm's length, disregard, ignore, cut, cut dead, neglect, take no notice of, disdain, scorn
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  • 2archaic Raze or destroy (a fortification).

    • ‘In recognition of the part that castles had played in the war, the majority of surviving buildings were deliberately slighted by the victorious parliamentarians.’
    • ‘This establishment was severely damaged by flooding at the end of the second century and rebuilt in much the same form, only to be slighted during the barbarian incursions of AD 276.’
    • ‘It was strongly slighted and used as a quarry for the town houses.’
    • ‘Temporarily Hadrian's Wall became redundant; gates were removed from the milecastles, and parts of the Vallum were deliberately slighted to form additional crossings.’

noun

  • An insult caused by a failure to show someone proper respect or attention.

    ‘an unintended slight can create grudges’
    ‘he was seething at the slight to his authority’
    • ‘But many of the slights, misunderstandings and, yes, conniving, are typical of any bureaucracy, as officials pursue a range of different agendas.’
    • ‘They experience the slights, stereotypes, and exclusions of racism but civil rights laws have made racial discrimination illegal, and most white Americans embrace the ideal of racial equality.’
    • ‘Agnes and I sat in her filthy living room, reliving all the mean, thoughtless slights and insults she could remember.’
    • ‘I don't think I keep grudges, although I tend to remember perceived slights or injustices.’
    • ‘However, between Hindu and Muslim communities, even rumors, supposed slights, or perceived insults can result in mass riots.’
    • ‘But then I remembered I'm halfway around the world and the Greek and Cypriot history is rich enough that small insults or slights are laughable.’
    • ‘Minorities are encouraged to complain about any perceived slights to their particular group, and to challenge the assumptions of ‘the white male hegemony.’’
    • ‘Rupe has a prodigious memory and holds grudges, slights and wrongs long and hard.’
    • ‘I have no racism horror stories, no lists of slights and snubs.’
    • ‘All of us when we're in politics suffer real or imagined slights, insults, whatever, but the fact is they were bad things.’
    • ‘Unlike the Europeans and the Chinese, for instance, who behave as if slights from the 14th century happened five minutes ago, we are oblivious to our own political past.’
    • ‘His disappointment at his failure to achieve the goals he had hoped for renders him particularly sensitive to slights or perceived lack of respect by others.’
    • ‘Allowing perceived slights to grow into mountainous outrage means the gulfs will widen and individuals will reach a point where there is no going back and, therefore, no going forward.’
    • ‘People are extra-sensitive right now to atmosphere, undercurrents, moods and nuances, slights and slurs.’
    • ‘The details of supposed slights and implied insults are trivia.’
    • ‘If I offended anyone of the Jewish faith, then I apologize for the unintended slight.’
    • ‘They can go to school, do everything right, and still not get that job, still deal with casual slights and insults, still get stopped by the police.’
    • ‘No amount of recognition is sufficient, however, and other people's innocent comments or actions are misinterpreted as insults or slights.’
    • ‘Hopkins' hysteria was a sample of America's campus-based indignation industry, which churns out operatic reactions to imagined slights.’
    • ‘These are, for the most part, unintentional slights.’
    insult, affront, slur, disparaging remark
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Phrases

  • not in the slightest

    • Not at all.

      ‘he didn't mind in the slightest’
      • ‘He really wasn't special, not in the slightest.’
      • ‘I went to a therapist a good few years ago, once a week for around six weeks, and found her not in the slightest way mad.’
      • ‘That wouldn't do any good right here and now - not in the slightest.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, we weren't lucky, not in the slightest.’
      • ‘What happened in Darwen proves that is not the case, not in the slightest.’
      • ‘‘Absolutely not in the slightest,’ says Bowdler.’
      • ‘‘No mate, not in the slightest, truly,’ explains Paul.’
      • ‘It wasn't that he despised her - not in the slightest.’
      • ‘This didn't make Jonah feel better, not in the slightest.’
      • ‘It certainly didn't feel okay, not in the slightest.’
      by no means, by no manner of means, not at all, in no way, not in the least, not in the slightest, not the least bit, certainly not, absolutely not, definitely not, on no account, under no circumstances
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  • the slightest —

    • usually with negativeAny — whatsoever.

      ‘I don't have the slightest idea’
      • ‘The quality of the tennis on a chill and blustery afternoon in London was impressive and Sharapova never showed the slightest signs of cracking against her more illustrious opponent.’
      • ‘My best guess is that because bloggers depend so much on mainstream journalists, even the slightest differences in our perception of their work become greatly magnified.’
      • ‘Aviation/space is simply not forgiving of even the slightest errors.’
      • ‘Whenever civil resistance has shown the slightest signs of evolving from symbolic action into anything remotely threatening, the crackdown is merciless.’
      • ‘But if the multimillionaires harbor even the slightest doubts about their qualifications for solving social and geopolitical ills, they don't express it.’
      • ‘But in a profession as obsessed with hierarchy as the law, everyone seems to pay very close attention to the slightest variations anyway.’
      • ‘Eyes wide open, he studies everything, observes the slightest details of the station, noticing one advertisement in particular.’
      • ‘For his part, Walters has been busy crisscrossing the nation, trying to extinguish even the slightest moves to alter the nation's draconian drug laws.’
      • ‘But then again, it was a recording, and the slightest errors would show up.’
      • ‘In two of the images hanging at the apse are the slightest suggestions of feet, almost compelling the viewer's vision upwards to the scaffolding catwalk that runs along the ceiling.’

Origin

Middle English; the adjective from Old Norse sléttr ‘smooth’ (an early sense in English), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch slechts ‘merely’ and German schlicht ‘simple’, schlecht ‘bad’; the verb (originally in the sense ‘make smooth or level’), from Old Norse slétta. The sense ‘treat with disrespect’ dates from the late 16th century.

Pronunciation

slight

/slaɪt//slīt/