alight

verb
\ ə-ˈlīt How to pronounce alight (audio) \
alighted also alit\ ə-​ˈlit How to pronounce alight (audio) \; alighting

Definition of alight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to come down from something (such as a vehicle): such as
a : dismount They alighted from the bus.
b : deplane
2 : to descend from or as if from the air and come to rest : land, settle The bird alighted on a branch. snow alighting on a roof
3 archaic : to come by chance

alight

adjective

Definition of alight (Entry 2 of 2)

1 chiefly British : being on fire
2 : lighted up The sky was alight with stars.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from alight

Verb

alightment \ ə-​ˈlīt-​mənt How to pronounce alight (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for alight

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of alight in a Sentence

Verb A group of tourists alighted from the boat. a flock of eight swans circled above, then alighted on the pond Adjective The sky was alight with stars. Enemy soldiers set the building alight.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Kaz Brekker is a key part of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone series, and the internet has been alight with conversations about the actor who plays him, Freddy Carter. Rosie Knight, refinery29.com, "Let’s Talk About Kaz Brekker, Assumptions, and Disability in Shadow and Bone," 28 Apr. 2021 Kaz Brekker is a key part of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone series, and the internet has been alight with conversations about the actor who plays him, Freddy Carter. Rosie Knight, refinery29.com, "Let’s Talk About Kaz Brekker, Assumptions, and Disability in Shadow and Bone," 23 Apr. 2021 At their best, special effects, such as Harkonnens’ bombing House Atreides, alight both the planet’s night sky and the audience’s imagination. Jill Krajewski, Vulture, "David Lynch’s Dune Is a Beautiful Sci-fi Disaster," 29 Mar. 2021 After smashing a record in his homeland, and setting the charts alight around the globe, The Kid Laroi inks a worldwide deal with Sony Music Publishing. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Sony Music Publishing Signs The Kid Laroi to Global Deal," 23 Feb. 2021 To simply point out that Trump had improbably managed to alight on the correct course of action was to have written a favorable profile of Osama bin Laden. WSJ, "Notable & Quotable: The Thrill of Covering Trump," 15 Feb. 2021 And on Monday night, a bouquet of flowers alight with Christmas ornaments appeared in front of vacant homes. Los Angeles Times, "Activists wield bolt cutters in a tense L.A. neighborhood as poor families seize empty homes," 23 Dec. 2020 Other suggestions include burying electrical lines to prevent birds from perching on utility poles near burners or building taller structures for the birds to alight away from the stacks. National Geographic, "Invisible menace: Methane flares scorching birds at U.S. landfills," 20 Nov. 2020 After just two days, the A.I. alighted on baricitinib, a drug that was originally designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "A.I. engineers should spend time training not just algorithms, but also the humans who use them," 5 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Residents will be able to dive off at one side and alight at the other, which is certainly a glamorous, if damp, way to call in on your neighbors. Maureen O'hare, CNN, "London's new see-through Sky Pool is first of its kind," 26 Apr. 2021 Art finds a way to occupy almost any material and alight in any tool. Jerry Saltz, Vulture, "Think of NFTs As a Brush," 15 Apr. 2021 Zendaya reaffirmed her status as red carpet royalty at the 93rd Academy Awards on Sunday evening, wearing a vibrant lemon yellow Valentino Haute Couture gown that set social media alight. Megan C. Hills, CNN, "Zendaya stuns Oscars red carpet in Cher-inspired Valentino gown," 26 Apr. 2021 Millions of butterflies alight on oyamel firs, pines and junipers. Smithsonian Magazine, "An Epic Monarch Migration Faces New Threats," 21 Apr. 2021 The man had spilled gasoline on himself while trying to start a fire and accidentally set himself alight. Sara Tabin, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah brothers win national award for helping victims of plane crash," 25 Mar. 2021 Adults carrying babies and holding the hands of young children alight from the craft. Los Angeles Times, "The other Rio Grande: Central American migrants navigate jungle river en route to the United States," 23 Mar. 2021 Cannonborough/Elliotborough is alight with creativity and delicious treats; pick up a cupcake from Sugar Bakeshop while walking along Cannon Street. Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, "Charleston Travel Guide," 1 Mar. 2021 Yet his bland style has not set the broader electorate alight. Washington Post, "Head of Germany’s biggest state takes helm of Angela Merkel’s party — and shot to succeed her as chancellor," 16 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alight.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of alight

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alight

Verb

Middle English alighten "to descend, get off (of), dismount," going back to Old English alīhtan (transitive) "to lighten, relieve," (intransitive) "to descend, get off (of)," from a-, perfective prefix + līhtan "to make lighter, descend, dismount" — more at abide, light entry 6

Adjective

Middle English alyht, alight, past participle of alighten "to set on fire, kindle, shed spiritual light on," going back to Old English alīhtan "to illuminate, light up," from a-, perfective prefix + līhtan "to shed light, set on fire" — more at abide, light entry 3

Note: In Modern English reanalyzed as a- entry 1 + light entry 1, by analogy with ablaze, afire, aflame.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about alight

Time Traveler for alight

Time Traveler

The first known use of alight was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for alight

Last Updated

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alight.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alight. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for alight

alight

verb

English Language Learners Definition of alight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

somewhat formal
of insects, birds, etc. : to stop on a surface after flying
: to step down from a boat, vehicle, etc.

alight

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of alight (Entry 2 of 2)

: full of light : lighted up
chiefly British : on fire

alight

verb
\ ə-ˈlīt How to pronounce alight (audio) \
alighted; alighting

Kids Definition of alight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to get down : dismount The riders alighted from their horses.
2 : to come down from the air and settle Butterflies alighted on the flowers.

alight

adjective

Kids Definition of alight (Entry 2 of 2)

: full of light : lighted up The sky was alight with stars. His face was alight with excitement.

Comments on alight

What made you want to look up alight? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!