pen·​light | \ ˈpen-ˌlīt How to pronounce penlight (audio) \
variants: or less commonly penlite

Definition of penlight

: a small flashlight resembling a fountain pen in size or shape

Examples of penlight in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The young man in black climbed down the manhole’s footholds and flicked on a penlight. Suzanne Sataline, Quartz, "How one fighter made his escape from the worst battle of Hong Kong’s protests," 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, "Bold space mission to bring back rocks from Mars takes shape," 21 Nov. 2019 Next year, the park might ban flashlights and phones and provide penlights for an additional fee. Andrea Sachs,, "For 2 spectacular weeks, mating fireflies light up Smoky Mountains," 15 June 2017

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

1930, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for penlight

Time Traveler

The first known use of penlight was in 1930

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Statistics for penlight

Cite this Entry

“Penlight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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English Language Learners Definition of penlight

: a small flashlight that looks like a pen

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