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’
    • ‘Now that mightn't be just be in number of cases, it might just be in slight increases in margin return over time.’
    • ‘A slight degree of petulance had crept into his voice.’
    • ‘Thomas is also exhibiting more obvious signs of agoraphobia, although of a slight degree.’
    • ‘Hence, the difference could only be explained by the use of a different negative, copied from the original with a slight degree of enlargement.’
    • ‘All human eyes have a slight degree of farsightedness at birth.’
    • ‘In virtually every case, however, the degree of degradation was slight enough to be inconsequential.’
    • ‘There may be in fact none, of course, but notions of that kind perhaps still inform the provision to a slight degree.’
    • ‘They improve performance to a slight degree, but not by any factor that a typical user would notice, he says.’
    • ‘Aerodynamic limitations have been avoided to a slight degree at almost prohibitive cost and with consequent contamination.’
    • ‘Colors often look muted and washed out with there also being a slight degree of edge enhancement rearing its ugly head.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My hands were getting clammy and I was feeling a slight degree of nervousness.’
    • ‘The air temperature is 26 degrees and there is slight westerly breeze blowing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Having said that, the latter does play its part, but only to a slight degree.’
    • ‘This results in fluid retention of a slight degree when you are able to drink adequately and replete your exercise fluid losses.’
    • ‘Once you're out on the streets you do have a slight degree of autonomy.’
    • ‘Customers do get us mixed-up however, which can cause a slight degree of chaos with orders!’
    • ‘However, even the moderate winds during my drive caused the roadster to react with a slight degree of cowl shake.’
    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’
      • ‘Much of his concert work is slight, mainly because that's all the time he felt he could give.’
      • ‘Abelard also wrote a slight work of practical advice for his son.’
      • ‘He is too light, too slight, too trivial, a figure with insufficient gravity.’
      • ‘This tale is rather slight, but the visual beauty and thrilling action make this a stunning work of animation.’
      • ‘While intelligent and elegant, they have seemed rather slight and concerned with relatively marginal problems.’
      • ‘Objectively, the plot is slight, but wrapped up in the details there lurks an epic tale.’
      • ‘He continues to direct good films, even if all of them are rather slight.’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘The earliest concertos composed for square piano are slight works, diverting but lightweight.’
      • ‘I mean, this isn't Shakespeare, it's slight and rather broad comedy.’
      • ‘A woman writer who evokes an intensely personal landscape still finds she is dismissed as slight, precious, trivial.’
      • ‘It's a slight work, but gives an insight into Puccini's early creativity.’
      • ‘Her books are deceptively slight, superficially easy, and so easily misunderstood.’
      • ‘You can still interact with people, but those interactions are slight and superficial (in the on-the-surface sense) and ephemeral.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Taylor understands the idiom quite perfectly and he manages to bring a grandeur and nobility to the admittedly slight work.’
      • ‘Komorebi is a slight work made up of sketches and vignettes, whose very slightness is one of its most attractive qualities.’
      • ‘Ultimately, it all sounds rather petty and slight.’
      • ‘It is all rather slight, but the visual beauty and thrilling action make this a stunning work of animation.’
      • ‘This is a rather slight movie if I ever saw one, but that doesn't mean it's not an enjoyable one.’
      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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She was a rather slight, elderly woman with a nose that resembled the large beak of a macaw.’
    • ‘Khad's slight build and almost feminine looks gave him a delicate look.’
    • ‘She stared over at Tyler who was struggling with a slight man with a thin moustache and a scar over one eye.’
    • ‘She is being lifted bodily by a policeman, easily, for she is slight and frail.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He's not very skinny, but he's got a very slight build.’
    • ‘He was of a slight build, about 5ft 10 in tall and between 30 and 35 years old.’
    • ‘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 a slight man wearing owl glasses, with thin brown hair that left a bald spot on the back of his head.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He assessed the slight build, her figure more apparent in the loose but lighter clothing.’
    • ‘The family said Ms Hindson was about 160-170 cm tall and had a very slight build.’
    • ‘She is still slight in build, her child's presence not ostensible.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The man is white, of slight build and around 5ft 7in.’
    • ‘Some days, I am awfully grateful that I am of such a slight build…’
    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’
    • ‘And then I thought, well, I was slighted, in quite a significant way.’
    • ‘He did not spend time slighting the enemy, but commenced to work on the minds and hearts of the British people.’
    • ‘He can finally seek revenge upon the kids from school who have slighted him in any way.’
    • ‘There were plenty who would wish to slight John Brown and Queen Victoria.’
    • ‘One is not slighting her in saying that she comes close to, but does not equal, the unsurpassable Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.’
    • ‘So if you take a swipe at Vermont-please do not slight the troops.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It seems Mr Wyatt thought the injured person slighted him in some way but this offence is totally out of character.’
    • ‘Not to slight him in any way, but that's a lot of people to know.’
    • ‘My mother was convinced they were slighting us because you were mad at me!’
    • ‘If any opponent slights his team, you can bet Belichick will find out and let it simmer on his players' minds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Do you feel slighted by the early announcement?’
    • ‘A master of the tea ceremony in old Japan once accidentally slighted a soldier.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Needless to say, the two slighted women had been less than thrilled concerning their banishment and protested their exclusion on a daily basis.’
    • ‘It shows how support for old clients can be profitable and provides advice on how to support them without slighting new clients.’
    • ‘Am I expiating the crime of slighting my father so much?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They continue to invite his ex-wife over, while slighting my mother.’
    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).

    • ‘It was strongly slighted and used as a quarry for the town houses.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘However, between Hindu and Muslim communities, even rumors, supposed slights, or perceived insults can result in mass riots.’
    • ‘The details of supposed slights and implied insults are trivia.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I don't think I keep grudges, although I tend to remember perceived slights or injustices.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Rupe has a prodigious memory and holds grudges, slights and wrongs long and hard.’
    • ‘People are extra-sensitive right now to atmosphere, undercurrents, moods and nuances, slights and slurs.’
    • ‘Hopkins' hysteria was a sample of America's campus-based indignation industry, which churns out operatic reactions to imagined slights.’
    • ‘I have no racism horror stories, no lists of slights and snubs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Minorities are encouraged to complain about any perceived slights to their particular group, and to challenge the assumptions of ‘the white male hegemony.’’
    • ‘Agnes and I sat in her filthy living room, reliving all the mean, thoughtless slights and insults she could remember.’
    • ‘All of us when we're in politics suffer real or imagined slights, insults, whatever, but the fact is they were bad things.’
    • ‘But many of the slights, misunderstandings and, yes, conniving, are typical of any bureaucracy, as officials pursue a range of different agendas.’
    • ‘If I offended anyone of the Jewish faith, then I apologize for the unintended slight.’
    • ‘No amount of recognition is sufficient, however, and other people's innocent comments or actions are misinterpreted as insults or slights.’
    • ‘These are, for the most part, unintentional slights.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.’
      • ‘‘Absolutely not in the slightest,’ says Bowdler.’
      • ‘This didn't make Jonah feel better, not in the slightest.’
      • ‘‘No mate, not in the slightest, truly,’ explains Paul.’
      • ‘It wasn't that he despised her - not in the slightest.’
      • ‘What happened in Darwen proves that is not the case, not in the slightest.’
      • ‘It certainly didn't feel okay, not in the slightest.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, we weren't lucky, not in the slightest.’
      • ‘That wouldn't do any good right here and now - 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’
      • ‘Aviation/space is simply not forgiving of even the slightest errors.’
      • ‘Eyes wide open, he studies everything, observes the slightest details of the station, noticing one advertisement in particular.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Whenever civil resistance has shown the slightest signs of evolving from symbolic action into anything remotely threatening, the crackdown is merciless.’
      • ‘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 in a profession as obsessed with hierarchy as the law, everyone seems to pay very close attention to the slightest variations anyway.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But if the multimillionaires harbor even the slightest doubts about their qualifications for solving social and geopolitical ills, they don't express it.’

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

/slīt//slaɪt/