Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Uncle Peter stood in a flood of light at the door of his room.

A light not of this world is gleaming there; and it has grown brighter and clearer since we parted.

What if the latter should light on some of his various hiding places for money?

She stood by the table, the light from a shaded lamp making her colour glow.

He said "It is Light" and he used the rays of the early sun to gather food for his family.

At night when the room grows dark we push a button and there is light.

To Kate, for instance, she was a necessity of existence, like light or air.

Then the whip was brought into requisition, and it was laid on with no light hand.

The wind was strong from the westward, accompanied with light showers all day.

We have not had a drop of rain since the light shower on the 4th August.


"brightness, radiant energy," Old English leht, earlier leoht "light, daylight; luminous, beautiful," from West Germanic *leukhtam (cf. Old Saxon lioht, Old Frisian liacht, Middle Dutch lucht, Dutch licht, Old High German lioht, German Licht, Gothic liuhaþ "light"), from PIE *leuk- "light, brightness" (cf. Sanskrit rocate "shines;" Armenian lois "light," lusin "moon;" Greek leukos "bright, shining, white;" Latin lucere "to shine," lux "light," lucidus "clear;" Old Church Slavonic luci "light;" Lithuanian laukas "pale;" Welsh llug "gleam, glimmer;" Old Irish loche "lightning," luchair "brightness;" Hittite lukezi "is bright").

The -gh- was an Anglo-French scribal attempt to render the Germanic hard -h- sound, which has since disappeared from this word. The figurative spiritual sense was in Old English; the sense of "mental illumination" is first recorded mid-15c. Meaning "something used for igniting" is from 1680s. Meaning "a consideration which puts something in a certain view (e.g. in light of) is from 1680s. Something that's a joy and a delight has been the light of (someone's) eyes since Old English:

To see the light "come into the world" is from 1680s; later in a Christian sense.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.