light·​weight | \ ˈlīt-ˌwāt How to pronounce lightweight (audio) \
plural lightweights

Definition of lightweight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one of less than average weight specifically : a boxer in a weight division having a maximum limit of 135 pounds for professionals and 132 pounds for amateurs — compare featherweight, welterweight
2 : one of little consequence or ability a political lightweight
3 : a person who becomes inebriated after consuming relatively small amounts of alcohol or drugs Even at 6 foot 5 inches tall, Dean was a lightweight, and he sounded to be two drinks in, Johnson said.— Kate Sosin



Definition of lightweight (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : lacking in earnestness, ability, or profundity : inconsequential a lightweight painter a lightweight TV series
2 : having less than average weight lightweight fabrics
3 : of, relating to, or characteristic of a lightweight the lightweight championship

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Examples of lightweight in a Sentence

Noun The members of his staff were considered lightweights. among astronomers she's considered a lightweight Adjective it's going to be hot, so wear mostly lightweight clothing
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ferguson is coming off three consecutive finishes against top lightweights Donald Cerrone (June 2019), former UFC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis (October 2018) and Kevin Lee (October 2017). Mark Heim |, al, "UFC 249 live stream: How to watch Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje," 9 May 2020 These soft, comfy pieces, such as the women's Benton Springs and men's Steens Mountain 2.0, have thousands of 5-star ratings, with both ladies and gents praising their true-to-size fit, lightweight yet well-made feel and deep pockets. Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "You can get unbeatable deals on Columbia fleeces, hiking boots and more," 24 Apr. 2020 The Sensei Ten is also super lightweight, which gives it a nice, speedy, underhand feel. Gabrielle Hondorp, Popular Mechanics, "The 6 Best Gaming Mouse Options for New and Elite Players," 11 Apr. 2020 Saturday’s Ultimate Fighting Championship bout between lightweights Kevin Lee and Charles Oliveira may have offered some reprieve. Arluther Lee, ajc, "Latest CDC guidelines would keep pro sports suspended for months," 16 Mar. 2020 Initially starting out as a lightweight, Crawford has moved up the weight classes as his career has developed and has won multiple world titles at lightweight, light welterweight and welterweight. Ben Morse And Patrick Snell, CNN, "Hit by a bullet, boxer Terence Crawford vowed to change his life," 13 Dec. 2019 His lifelong aim of becoming Conservative leader had long been blocked by fellow MPs, who identified him as a lightweight and a liar. The Economist, "Brexit has infected British politics from top to bottom," 26 Sep. 2019 Elyria’s lightweights dominated the match in the early going. cleveland, "St. Edward comes back to win Division I OHSAA state duals wrestling title over Elyria," 17 Feb. 2020 Until then, playing both ends of back-to-backs is for rookies, lightweights and chumps. Scott Ostler,, "On Giants’ next manager, Warriors’ secret plot, and killer burgers," 9 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Their pure cotton design is lightweight, quick-drying, and machine-washable. Braelyn Wood,, "These 7 Alternatives to Paper Towels Are the Perfect Sustainable Swap During the Shortage," 13 May 2020 Fit inside a 3mm-thin bezel panel, the Aero is thin and lightweight and has 3 USB ports, an SD card reader, and HDMI 2.0 jack. Popular Science, "The best-looking laptop displays for streaming and gaming," 6 Apr. 2020 One lightweight, thin, and foldable seat could increase legroom simply by being much thinner and lower profile than existing, more padded seats. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Who's the Jerk in This Airline Video: the Woman Reclining or the Guy Hitting Her Seat?," 13 Feb. 2020 The pack is thin and lightweight but expands to fit all sorts of stuff, and the nylon ripstop is durable. Wired Staff, Wired, "16 Great Deals on Outdoor Gear, Tech Essentials, and More," 8 Feb. 2020 The neoprene material is extremely lightweight and a breeze to keep clean. Noelle Ike, CNN Money, "The best fitness and health gifts for starting the new year off stronger than ever," 23 Dec. 2019 Barely bigger than a deck of cards, the Activ5 is lightweight and feels natural and smooth to the touch. Brittany Meiling, San Diego Union-Tribune, "La Jolla fitness startup booms after Apple stocks its device in stores," 24 July 2019 In terms of new products, the company plans to introduce new tank tops and T-shirts for men that have anti-odor technology, are lightweight and have strategic venting, Mr. McDonald told analysts. Aisha Al-muslim, WSJ, "Lululemon Reports Higher Sales, Raises Full-Year Outlook," 12 June 2019 The hardcore rapper in him felt the Mtume sample was a too lightweight. cleveland, "90 greatest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame songs of the 1990s," 29 Apr. 2020

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


1773, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1809, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for lightweight

Time Traveler

The first known use of lightweight was in 1773

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Statistics for lightweight

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lightweight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for lightweight


How to pronounce lightweight (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lightweight

: a fighter who is in a class of boxers weighing from 125 to 132 pounds (57 to 60 kilograms)
: someone or something that does not weigh as much as others
: someone or something that has little importance or power


light·​weight | \ ˈlīt-ˌwāt How to pronounce lightweight (audio) \

Kids Definition of lightweight

: having less than the usual or expected weight

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