traffic light


Definition of traffic light 

: a visual signal (such as a system of colored lights) for controlling traffic

Examples of traffic light in a Sentence

Take a left at the traffic light.

Recent Examples on the Web

The rail line option would require fewer traffic lights and stops compared with the other options. Kenneth R. Gosselin, Courant Community, "Hartford's Union Station May Be Used By CTfastrak Under Redevelopment Plan," 9 July 2018 The ride is smooth and comfortable, with gentle stops for traffic lights and other vehicles. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "What to know about Detroit's self-driving shuttles," 26 June 2018 The budget identifies $7 million in street improvements, plus another $1.9 million in building repairs, $250,000 for Oakwood Cemetery, $2 million for sidewalks, $1.5 million for traffic lights and $1.5 million for alleys. Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, "Waukegan approves $165 million budget with infrastructure improvements, deficit spending," 17 Apr. 2018 Police said the traffic light went from red to green several times without the vehicle moving. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Super Bowl champion arrested for heroin possession after ramming cop car, police say," 6 July 2018 Cofield’s foot was on the brake, and the traffic light had cycled several times without his car moving. Michael Williams,, "NFL player arrested in Lake Mary on heroin charges after ramming police car, authorities say," 5 July 2018 More-advanced traffic lights can even sense when a car is waiting at the light and adjust the timing. Henry Williams, WSJ, "Artificial Intelligence May Make Traffic Congestion a Thing of the Past," 26 June 2018 The car that flipped over was driving southbound on St. Andrews Church Road when the driver lost control and ran into another vehicle that was stopped at the traffic light headed in the same direction, Mitchell said. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Police say driver in rollover crash in PRP will be charged with DUI," 13 July 2018 Wifi networks, smart traffic lights, security cameras, cell phones, Ubers, and yeah, electric scooters throw off truckloads of data about American cities. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Cities Are Watching You—Urban Sciences Graduates Watch Back," 25 June 2018

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

1912, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for traffic light

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for traffic light

The first known use of traffic light was in 1912

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More Definitions for traffic light

traffic light


English Language Learners Definition of traffic light

: an electric lamp that usually has a red, a green, and a yellow light and that is used to control traffic

traffic light


Kids Definition of traffic light

: a visual signal (as a set of colored lights) for controlling the flow of vehicles

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Comments on traffic light

What made you want to look up traffic light? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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