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 His father started off as a professional lightweight boxer, with some 60 fights in New York. New York Times, "Theodore Lambrinos, Baritone With a Zest for the Road, Dies at 85," 27 Apr. 2021 The lightweight, laidback look still appeals today, and rattan and wicker pieces are once again in high demand. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "'70s Design Is Back: Here Are 5 Ways to Make the Retro Style Feel Fresh," 22 Apr. 2021 This lightweight, portable tool brings the salon-quality experience of micro needling straight to your home. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, "Meet the Three Generations of Women Behind This Female-Led Skincare Company," 20 Apr. 2021 To achieve the strength necessary to hold up its head and carry prey, while keeping the bone lightweight enough for flight, the vertebra has spokes like a bicycle wheel that connect a center column to the outer surface of the bone. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Unique Bone Structure Helped Long-Necked Pterosaurs Fly," 16 Apr. 2021 This lightweight, 12″ squeegee comes as an individual unit or in a pack of two, three, or four. Chris Hachey, BGR, "Best Window Squeegee," 14 Apr. 2021 Grab this as a quintessential lightweight layering piece. Kiana Murden, CNN Underscored, "30 stylish lightweight jackets under $150 to transition into spring," 5 Apr. 2021 Because even when summer does roll around, the lightweight, buildable, sheer wash of shimmer this tint delivers was made for beach days. Michella Oré, Glamour, "Fenty Beauty’s Body Sauce Makes You Look Like You’ve Been on Vacation," 25 Mar. 2021 There are a lot of good headlamps out there (and a lot of bad ones), but the Actik strikes the right balance of lightweight and brightness. Matt Jancer, Wired, "The 25 Best Deals From Outdoor Winter Clearance Sales This Week," 11 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Evolve2 30 is lightweight, superbly comfortable and includes a boom microphone and all the essential controls for adjusting volume. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, "Jabra’s Affordable USB Headset Is Perfect For Home And Office Use," 20 Apr. 2021 After the grandeur of his two previous symphonies, Schubert’s material is relatively lightweight. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Review: Emanuel Ax shows why he’s a rare breed among concert pianists in Dallas Symphony programs," 16 Apr. 2021 Each hot tool is also relatively lightweight and comes with bonus attachments or pouches for easy storage and travel. Nicole Saunders, NBC News, "Best Dyson hair tools and hot tools of 2021," 13 Apr. 2021 Although the formula is extremely lightweight, my makeup doesn't budge all day–yes, even after wearing a face mask. Jorie Nicole Mcdonald, Southern Living, "This Setting Spray Keeps My Makeup on Through Face Masks and Southern Humidity," 6 Apr. 2021 Ingenuity also had to be lightweight in order to fly through the Martian atmosphere, which has just 1% of the atmosphere present on Earth, while still having enough power to heat itself and survive the frigid Martian nights. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "NASA's Ingenuity helicopter survives first freezing night on Mars," 5 Apr. 2021 Solo Stove Bonfire: available at Solo Stove and AmazonThis portable bonfire doesn't require gas or propane and is lightweight at just 20 pounds. Megan Oster,, "Best patio essentials 2021," 2 Apr. 2021 This 14-pound aluminum ladder is lightweight yet sturdy enough for basic household jobs. Lily Gray, Better Homes & Gardens, "The 11 Best Ladders for Every Home Project, According to Glowing Reviews," 23 Mar. 2021 The straw material is lightweight and allows air movement underneath, keeping you cool on hot days. Outdoor Life, "What’s the Best Fishing Hat?," 17 Mar. 2021

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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lightweight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for lightweight



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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Comments on lightweight

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