pilot light

noun

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 Switch the pilot light and the gas valve off and wait for the fireplace to cool down completely before cleaning. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 Oct. 2021 All the families who tend that pilot light with love and tenacity. Susanna Schrobsdorff, Time, 10 Oct. 2021 An oven heated just by its pilot light is a good spot. Deb Wandell, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Oct. 2021 But no body means hope, and his hope is a pilot light. Katherine Laidlaw, Wired, 9 Sep. 2021 Canadians in the United States have the pilot light, too. Susan Morrison, The New Yorker, 5 Sep. 2021 The balloon flew northeast along the Connecticut River, cruising for about 45 minutes before Boland reported that the pilot light on the burner was out. Fox News, 3 Aug. 2021 Our oven was child-size, akin to the Easy Bake variety, with a temperamental pilot light. Kaci Neves, Bon Appétit, 7 June 2021 The clack-clack-clack of the pilot light led to a whoosh of flame coming to life. Washington Post, 1 May 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of pilot light

1881, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best gas ranges.

Learn More About pilot light

Time Traveler for pilot light

Time Traveler

The first known use of pilot light was in 1881

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near pilot light

pilot ladder

pilot light

pilot method

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for pilot light

Cite this Entry

“Pilot light.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pilot%20light. Accessed 22 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for pilot light

pilot light

noun

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!