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 Extinguishing the gaslight is what organizations like Fair Fight, Fair Count, and the Southern Economic Advancement Project are working to do. Ashley C. Ford, Marie Claire, "The Stacey Abrams Effect," 8 Mar. 2021 Park Ridge Friends of the Parks, a philanthropic group that raises money for the city’s park district, is raffling off a gaslight lamp post that previously stood inside Hodges Park in Uptown. Jennifer Johnson,, "Park Ridge gaslight lamp post from Hodges Park to be raffled off in fundraiser," 25 Nov. 2020 For years, the gaslight has been used as a symbol of Park Ridge, appearing on the city’s website and quarterly newsletter, the Spokesman. Jennifer Johnson,, "Park Ridge gaslight lamp post from Hodges Park to be raffled off in fundraiser," 25 Nov. 2020 Paris, with its gaslight glamour, its yawning new boulevards, its tremors of social discord, just down the river. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, "In this gorgeous early Monet painting, some see a cesspool of sex and vice," 12 Aug. 2020 Friedman has matched that sensibility here with songs that slide from lilting, gaslight-era melodiousness into a jagged, more contemporary anxiety. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Lies of Love and Memory Swirl Through ‘Unknown Soldier’," 9 Mar. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "Meeting Biden’s Climate Goals Requires Giving Exxon A Seat At The Table," 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, "The Controversy Around Amazon's Them Underscores the Trouble With Realistic Violence in Genre TV," 13 Apr. 2021 Texas officials like Sens. Ted Cruz, John Cornyn and Gov. Greg Abbott have used these trips to fear-monger constituents about children seeking asylum and gaslight Americans about who really created the challenge at our border today. Julián Castro, CNN, "Republicans are politicizing the border and children's lives," 12 Apr. 2021 Those themes all line up with current events: The death of George Floyd at the hands of the police, efforts to gaslight or obscure facts. Elizabeth Gulino,, "Friday’s Lunar Eclipse Is A Sign Of Revolution," 4 June 2020 To be fair though, his mom is also gaslighting him. Jean Bentley,, "R29 Binge Club: Dead To Me Season 2 Recap," 9 May 2020 When the one friend says your boyfriend is gaslighting you, what's her example? Love, "My friend doesn’t think I have a good relationship," 21 Apr. 2020 Autumn’s disappearance, Tate writes in the author’s note, is a metaphor for the way victims are so often gaslighted and shamed. Jennifer Harlan, New York Times, "From Missing Persons to Mistaken Identities, Books About Seeing and Being Seen," 18 Apr. 2020 VOD The Invisible Man Led by a superb Elisabeth Moss, this Universal reboot of a classic horror title is a gaslighting thriller expertly retooled by writer-director Leigh Whannell for the era of #MeToo. Los Angeles Times, "‘Straight Up’ and our critics’ 15 best choices to watch at home," 15 Apr. 2020

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

17 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gaslight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gaslight

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