gas·​light | \ ˈgas-ˌlīt How to pronounce gaslight (audio) , -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 or gaslit; gaslighting; gaslights

Definition of gaslight (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to psychologically manipulate (a person) usually over an extended period of time so that the victim questions the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and experiences confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, and doubts concerning their own emotional or mental stability : to subject (someone) to gaslighting You might think someone who is gaslighting you would only lie about big things that they could cover up or hide. But that's not the case. They often lie about all things big and small just to throw you off.— Amy Morin But sexual abuse claims against the powerful stall more easily. There were experts willing to attack my credibility. There were doctors willing to gaslight an abused child.— Dylan Farrow

Examples of gaslight in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When uber-hypesters gaslight web3 as hype and the holders of some of the most centralized crypto-currencies talk incessantly of decentralization, this eclipse should come as no surprise. Vipin Bharathan, Forbes, 2 Jan. 2022 In discussing these books, Wolff explores the profound impact of gaslight and the development of projection technologies on opera. Larry Wolff, The New York Review of Books, 22 July 2021 The series includes Sloan’s famous etching of a woman kneeling in her nightgown while turning down a gaslight before joining her lover amid the rumpled sheets of their bed. Steven Litt, cleveland, 29 Aug. 2021 Its rooftop cupola was reproduced as a reminder of the gaslight era. Jacques Kelly,, 15 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb When a tweet from critical-race-theory opponent Christopher Rufo that highlighted the letter went viral, numerous major media outlets attempted to gaslight the public. The Editors, National Review, 13 Jan. 2022 Because this form of toxic bullying can be hard to detect, and even harder to prove, leaders who regularly gaslight can often cause extensive harm to their team over an extended period of time. Jonathan H. Westover, Forbes, 28 Oct. 2021 In my experience, the perpetrator would gaslight me. India Oxenberg,, 26 Aug. 2021 However, tensions flare when Reza is seen accusing Mike of trying to gaslight him, and all of the drama reaches a peak in the very last moments of the trailer. Greta Bjornson,, 16 Aug. 2021 Victoria responds by repeatedly attempting to gaslight Ryan about her feelings. Ariana Romero,, 9 July 2021 The continuing effort to throw sand in the eyes of history -- to gaslight the American people about what happened that day -- is a thundering alarm about the future of America's democracy. Frida Ghitis, CNN, 18 May 2021 Reaction from the climate community, which has spent decades watching Exxon actively bury climate research and gaslight the public, ranged from anger to eye-rolls. Brentan Alexander, Forbes, 28 Apr. 2021 From a thematic standpoint, I was struck by the show’s exploration of how society can gaslight its scapegoats into believing—and thus embodying—the worst stereotypes about themselves. Judy Berman, Time, 13 Apr. 2021

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of gaslight was in 1808

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Dictionary Entries Near gaslight

gas lift



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Statistics for gaslight

Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gaslight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for gaslight



English Language Learners Definition of gaslight

: light made by burning gas (sense 1b)
: a lamp that uses gas as fuel

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