pilot light


Definition of pilot light

1 : a small permanent flame used to ignite gas at a burner
2 : an indicator light showing where a switch or circuit breaker is located or whether a motor is in operation or power is on

called also pilot lamp

Examples of pilot light in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The wind kept blowing out the pilot light at one concession stand, for instance. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "After 5-hour waits and cars running out of gas, State Fair vows to speed up its drive-through," 28 Sep. 2020 Another feature to consider is a heater with an automatic shut-down mechanism just in case the unit falls over, or a pilot light that goes off if the unit senses low oxygen levels. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Personal Heater," 10 Sep. 2020 Now consider a train car, where a T-boning vehicle powered by a manmade fireball is what strikes the tank—and think about the size of the pilot light that ignites your stovetop and oven. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "New Federal Rule Could Create Horrifying 'Bomb Trains'," 28 Aug. 2020 This was the only gun in our recent test with an on/off pilot light, which is important for safety and saving energy. Roy Berendson, Popular Mechanics, "The Popular Mechanics 2020 Tool Awards," 18 Mar. 2020 The stretch of late winter that will inevitably lead to spring seemed more manageable somehow, like the pilot light has been reignited in my soul. New York Times, "Napping Away Winter in Montreal’s Nordic Spas," 19 Feb. 2020 Sunriver firefighters responded, and reported that the kerfuffle was apparently caused by some pilot lights in the kitchen that weren’t functioning properly. oregonlive, "‘American Idol’: Sunriver auditions continue after firefighter heroics at the Oregon resort," 26 Feb. 2020 Neighbors said police at the scene said the home was unheated due to flooding in the basement that extinguished the pilot light on the furnace. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, "Mother, 83, son 60, found dead in cold home on Detroit's west side; police investigate," 22 Jan. 2020 Gas fireplaces also evolved over the last 10 years into contemporary designs without standing pilot lights and with more controls that reduce energy use and increase the ability to heat only occupied spaces. oregonlive, "Some of the last decade’s excessive design and decor stays: You’ll see more farmhouses, midcentury moderns and dwellings for multi-generations," 2 Jan. 2020

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

1881, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for pilot light

Time Traveler

The first known use of pilot light was in 1881

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Statistics for pilot light

Last Updated

10 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pilot light.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pilot%20light. Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for pilot light

pilot light


English Language Learners Definition of pilot light

: a small flame that is always burning in a gas stove, burner, etc., and that is used to light a larger flame

More from Merriam-Webster on pilot light

Nglish: Translation of pilot light for Spanish Speakers

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