pilot light


: a small permanent flame used to ignite gas at a burner
: 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The control system for gas ovens couldn’t be equipped with a constant burning pilot light. By Mary Stroka | The Center Square Contributor , Washington Examiner, 5 Apr. 2023 Berkeley was the pilot light of this movement. Judson Berger, National Review, 17 Oct. 2021 The pilot light is always on. Susan Morrison, The New Yorker, 5 Sep. 2021 And then the pilot light jumped and my face caught on fire. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, 1 Mar. 2023 Leno was working on the undercarriage of his 1907 White Steam Car on November 12, inspecting a clogged fuel line, when gasoline spilled on his face and then ignited with a pilot light used to create steam. Aili Nahas, Peoplemag, 14 Dec. 2022 And then the pilot light jumped, and my face caught on fire. Diana Dasrath, NBC News, 27 Jan. 2023 That might be a sign that the pilot light on the heater has gone out. Los Angeles Times, 10 Jan. 2023 The late-career run that Nas has put together since 2020 — with Hit-Boy as his pilot light — is proof that time is truly a flat circle. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pilot light.' 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

1881, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pilot light was in 1881

Dictionary Entries Near pilot light

Cite this Entry

“Pilot light.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pilot%20light. Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

pilot light

: a small permanent flame used to ignite gas at a burner

More from Merriam-Webster on pilot light

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