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; 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

By the time Brassaï began photographing, gaslights had mostly been replaced by electricity, but Brassaï made very sophisticated use of the new electric streetlamps to give his pictures atmosphere. William Meyers, WSJ, "‘Brassaï’ Review: We See Paris Through His Lens," 8 Dec. 2018 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

Meanwhile, the movie shies away from seriously interrogating why Professor X manipulated Dark Phoenix’s mind — in effect gaslighting her — which arguably makes him not just hubristic but an outright misogynist. Time, "Review: Late Night Is a Pitch-Perfect Workplace Comedy," 7 June 2019 There’s no space for gaslighting in the therapy hour. Teen Vogue, "Why Queer and Transgender People of Color Deserve Safe Spaces During Pride 2019," 1 June 2019 She’s been gaslighted into passivity not only by a sexist culture but also and more immediately by her first husband, who is such a jerk that his fatal exit from the book is an intensely satisfying catharsis. Laura Collins-hughes,, "Waking up is hard to do," 13 July 2018 There are few examples of gaslighting more obvious than this. Lauren Duca, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump Has Been Lying to the American Public, and Journalists Need to Call Him Out," 1 June 2018 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

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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More Definitions for gaslight



English Language Learners Definition of gaslight

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

More from Merriam-Webster on gaslight

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gaslight

Comments on gaslight

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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