lightly

adverb
light·​ly | \ ˈlīt-lē \

Definition of lightly

: in a light manner: such as
a : with little weight or force : gently
b : with indifference or carelessness : unconcernedly the problem should not be passed over lightly— Shelly Halpern
c : with little difficulty : easily
e : in an agile manner : nimbly, swiftly the cat leapt lightly onto the table
f : in a small degree or amount lightly salted food

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Examples of lightly in a Sentence

He talks lightly about the problems he's been having at work. She moved lightly across the room. These vegetables can be eaten either raw or lightly cooked. Our troops were armed too lightly to take on the heavily armed invaders. Considering the harm he did, he's gotten off lightly with only a warning. The judge let her off lightly with a short sentence.
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Recent Examples on the Web

How to Care for an Avocado Tree Place the pot in a sunny spot and water lightly but often. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow an Avocado Tree From a Pit," 29 Jan. 2019 Sand lightly, keeping the surface wet at all times, and frequently rinse the sandpaper in the bucket. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Safely Remove Paint," 25 Jan. 2019 Place the other squash half on top, cut side down, lightly pressing if needed to help balance the roast. Joe Yonan, The Seattle Times, "Vegetarian (or vegan) guests for Thanksgiving? Serve them this beauty," 13 Nov. 2018 Cover with a towel and let rise about 1 hour (longer in a cold room), or until the dough springs back when pressed lightly with a finger. Daniel Neman, sacbee, "Artistry, flavor blends are marks of Moroccan," 10 July 2018 Our conversation, lightly edited and condensed, is below. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "“I wanted to make it a beautiful disaster”: Pawel Pawlikowski on his new film Cold War," 21 Dec. 2018 Alternatively, butter pan and lightly dust with flour, tapping out excess. 2. Gabriella Gershenson, WSJ, "The Greatest New Year’s Menus on the Planet (at Least We Think So)," 26 Dec. 2018 With the environment in mind, Indiana homeowners Kelsey and Tyler Johnston set out to build a house that sits lightly on its 8.5 acres, and incorporated as much green design tech (think: energy recovery ventilation systems) as possible. Asad Syrkett, Curbed, "Year in Curbed: The best of House Calls," 26 Dec. 2018 Lift hair in small sections, backcomb each section two or three times using a fine-tooth plastic comb, spray with dry shampoo, and then comb the hair down on top lightly to smooth it out and hide the teasing. Amy Marturana, SELF, "17 Styling Tricks Women with Fine, Flat Hair Need to Know," 21 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lightly.' 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 lightly

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for lightly

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lightly

The first known use of lightly was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for lightly

lightly

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of lightly

: with little weight or force
: without care or concern : in a way that is not serious
: in a quick and graceful way

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More from Merriam-Webster on lightly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lightly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lightly

Spanish Central: Translation of lightly

Nglish: Translation of lightly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lightly for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lightly

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