light·​ly | \ ˈlīt-lē How to pronounce lightly (audio) \

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 Press them into the dough lightly with the rolling pin. Beth Segal, cleveland, "Homemade crackers 2.0: They’re not just for cheese boards anymore," 12 Feb. 2021 Roast, shaking both trays once, until asparagus is lightly charred and just tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Kate Merker, Good Housekeeping, "Roasted Asparagus With Creamy Feta," 11 Feb. 2021 Hold the tool in your right hand and place the edge of the blade lightly against the moving low-grit belt at the appropriate sharpening angle. Adrienne Donica, Popular Mechanics, "How to Sharpen a Knife (in 8 Simple Steps)," 10 Feb. 2021 Press them lightly together, then chill the dough for 1 hour. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, "Recipe: Abigail Adams' Apple Pandowdy," 10 Feb. 2021 The storefronts facing 42nd Street will also be lightly reconfigured, and the designs that the architectural firm MdeAS submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission include some appropriately jazzy signage and new front doors. Christopher Bonanos, Curbed, "Change Is Coming to the McGraw-Hill Building’s Art Deco Lobby. Or Is It?," 9 Feb. 2021 The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination process across the United States has been, to put it lightly, a hot mess. Asia Ewart,, "Why Are COVID Cases Still Rising In The World’s Most Vaccinated Country?," 8 Feb. 2021 Dinner features vegetables from the farm, lightly smoked steelhead trout with potatoes, and slow roasted beef short rib with marinated mushrooms. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "6 things to know in Milwaukee food and drink news this week," 8 Feb. 2021 After all, the Iranian economy is suffering very badly from the Trump sanctions; and military action is not something Israel can embark on lightly. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, "Can diplomacy deter Iranian nuclear ambitions a second time?," 3 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for lightly

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for lightly

Last Updated

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lightly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for lightly



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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Comments on lightly

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