gas·​light | \ˈgas-ˌlīt, -ˈlīt\

Definition of gaslight 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : light made by burning illuminating gas

2a : a gas flame

b : a gas lighting fixture


gaslighted; gaslighting

Definition of gaslight (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to attempt to make (someone) believe that he or she is going insane (as by subjecting that person to a series of experiences that have no rational explanation) Stacey was being gaslighted by someone leaving Jack's watch in the house, and then making it disappear, and calling her on the phone using Jack's voice.— Seli Groves

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Other Words from gaslight


gaslighting noun
Gaslighting is a term, often used by mental health professionals (I am not one), to describe manipulative behavior used to confuse people into thinking their reactions are so far off base that they're crazy. — Yashar Ali

Examples of gaslight in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

To get out of or to stop a gaslight, take one step at a time, Stern says. Sarah Digiulio /, NBC News, "What is gaslighting? And how do you know if it's happening to you?," 13 July 2018 The larger of the two is lined with ivy and gaslights, and features an outdoor fireplace with a 75-inch TV above the mantle, a heated canopy, hot tub with an awning and barbecue area. Vivian Marino, New York Times, "A SoHo Triplex on the Market for $65 Million," 14 June 2018 Its brilliant gaslights, its sociable tables, with their little games, its cheery warmth in winter, its iced beverages and cool halls in summer, all invite and welcome his entrance. Arthur Hart, idahostatesman, "When Idaho had mining, it also had a slew of saloons | Idaho Statesman," 6 Jan. 2018 Klepper said in a distorted voice, as the camera zoomed in on the gaslight. Lexy Perez, The Hollywood Reporter, "Jordan Klepper, Seth Meyers Take on Trump's New 'Access Hollywood' Tape Claims," 28 Nov. 2017 Illumination from two rows of gaslights is carefully calibrated and distributed. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "Cirque du Seurat at the Metropolitan Museum of Art," 16 Feb. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Some Democrats deny that the economy is humming along, in an effort to gaslight Trump. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "Who wrote the op-ed? Will the government shut down? Denials pile up in Washington," 10 Sep. 2018 The fifth season stars several men who have already exhibited toxic behaviors in the first few weeks of Paradise ranging from shocking bouts of jealousy to gaslighting and verbal abuse. De Elizabeth, Allure, "Bachelor in Paradise," 29 Aug. 2018 Alan tells Camille in tonight’s Sharp Objects, accusing her—in a classic bit of Crellin gaslighting—of making her mother ill. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sharp Objects Episode 6: Camille Is in Deep Trouble," 13 Aug. 2018 Jokes about gaslighting worker with mental illness The investigation followed the anonymous complaint from workers sent to the governor and Department of Administration. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Arizona Corporation Commission candidate was fired by state for harassing workers," 10 July 2018 His words and actions target, question, and attack our empathy, challenging us on our sense of community and gaslighting our sense of togetherness. Danielle Campoamor, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump Is Devastating Our Mental Health With His Policies and Rhetoric," 12 June 2018 Veronique has been gaslighting Mie this whole time. Rebecca Farley,, "Let's Talk About The Nutty, Devastating Ending Of Netflix's Tabula Rasa," 26 Mar. 2018 It's been said before, but the Trump administration excels at gaslighting, trying to make their opponents second guess themselves by turning any accusation back at them. Luke Darby, GQ, "Kellyanne Conway Is Back on the Air and Still Doing All the Same Nonsense," 22 Apr. 2018 That includes looking for signs of abuse like gaslighting, jealousy, explosive anger, isolation, and possessiveness. Lily Herman, Teen Vogue, "Teen Dating Violence Is an Indicator of Gun Violence," 25 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of gaslight


1808, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1956, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gaslight


after Gas Light, a play (1938) by British writer Patrick Hamilton, subsequently made into British and American films entitled Gaslight (1940 and 1944), in which a man attempts to trick his wife into believing that she is going insane

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Time Traveler for gaslight

The first known use of gaslight was in 1808

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gaslight

Comments on gaslight

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having a pattern of small flowers

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