pen·​light ˈpen-ˌlīt How to pronounce penlight (audio)
variants or less commonly penlite
: a small flashlight resembling a fountain pen in size or shape

Examples of penlight in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To create his hit video, Carter wrapped a GoPro camera with thermal protection and attached two small penlight flashlights to the sides. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Sep. 2023 At one point, Addison uses a penlight to assess the baby's breathing and ends up with a chest tube. Lincee Ray,, 31 Mar. 2023 The young man in black climbed down the manhole’s footholds and flicked on a penlight. Suzanne Sataline, Quartz, 30 Nov. 2019 Each sample, containing up to 20 grams of rock and grit, will be stored in a tube about the size of a penlight. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, 21 Nov. 2019 Next year, the park might ban flashlights and phones and provide penlights for an additional fee. Andrea Sachs,, 15 June 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'penlight.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1930, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of penlight was in 1930

Dictionary Entries Near penlight

Cite this Entry

“Penlight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


pen·​light -ˌlīt How to pronounce penlight (audio)
: a small flashlight resembling a fountain pen in size or shape
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