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 In George Smith’s time, the museum lacked not only electrical light, but gaslight as well. Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, "How to Read “Gilgamesh”," 7 Oct. 2019 The 18-year-old, who recently had been released from juvenile incarceration in Miami County, convinced a woman waiting at a bus stop in Clifton's gaslight district to go behind a nearby building. Kevin Grasha,, "In sentencing teen for rape, judge blasts hospital employee who said woman 'should have fought back'," 5 Dec. 2019 The 54-year-old woman was waiting for a bus the morning of June 30, a Sunday, in Clifton's gaslight district. Kevin Grasha,, "Teen previously convicted of rape admits raping woman in Clifton's gaslight district," 1 Nov. 2019 Josephine's memories included homework done by kerosene gaslight during her school years., "Deaths in South Florida: 8/13," 13 Aug. 2019 That is east of the Industrial Canal and across the Danziger Bridge from the glamorous notion of New Orleans — of French Quarter gaslights, street musicians and laissez les bon temps rouler seduction — that feeds the world’s imagination. Lynell George, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Sarah M. Broom shows her New Orleans in ‘The Yellow House’," 9 Aug. 2019 There is no photograph of the hallway, barely illuminated by a flickering gaslight that hides everything that is unlovely. Longreads, "A Minor Figure," 20 July 2019 By the time Brassaï began photographing, gaslights had mostly been replaced by electricity, but Brassaï made very sophisticated use of the new electric streetlamps to give his pictures atmosphere.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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Harvey Weinstein is trying to gaslight society again. NBC News, "Harvey Weinstein complains he is a 'forgotten man' in new interview," 16 Dec. 2019 This week on Riverdale, family members come out of the woodwork, Jughead gets a big opportunity, Cheryl turns the tables on her gaslighting foe, and more. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Might Have Finally Revealed Who Appears to Have Killed Jughead," 12 Dec. 2019 But that will be the most literal gaslighting imaginable, a lie of real gravity. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "The Literal Gaslighting That Helps America Avoid Acting on the Climate Crisis," 9 Oct. 2019 Given the strength of feeling in British politics right now, that opinion could uncharitably be described as gaslighting. Luke Mcgee, CNN, "British politics has been taken over by trolls," 26 Sep. 2019 And gaslighting is just one under-the-radar tactic abusers use to undermine a woman's sense of worth, confidence and independence, preventing her from reaching out for help or leaving. Ginny Graves, Good Housekeeping, "How I Broke Free," 30 Sep. 2019 And gaslighting was a Sanders specialty, day in and day out. Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post, "Sarah Sanders was the disdainful Queen of Gaslighting," 14 June 2019 In an incredible act of gaslighting, the Hall leadership tried to pass off this tokenism as diversity, and many media outlets fell for it. Evelyn Mcdonnell, Billboard, "It's Time For the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to Address Its Gender and Racial Imbalances (Guest Op-Ed)," 15 Nov. 2019 Most ingeniously, Lerner realizes the performative high school debate stage as a training ground for the kind of post-2016 gaslighting that’s become the American norm. David Canfield,, "Ben Lerner tackles toxic masculinity in the provocative Topeka School," 2 Oct. 2019

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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Statistics for gaslight

Last Updated

6 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gaslight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for gaslight


How to pronounce gaslight (audio)

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

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