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 Instead, government officials insisted that the city was at a moderate level of risk — orange, under its traffic light system — and that there was no need for more stringent health measures. New York Times, "Mexico Misled Citizens About the Severity of Coronavirus in its Capital," 21 Dec. 2020 Madison was a passenger in a Volkswagon Passat that was stopped at a traffic light in the 5700 block of Valley Road just before 9:45 p.m. Saturday. Carol Robinson |, al, "Authorities ID toddler girl, 2 others killed in Jefferson County weekend crashes," 21 Dec. 2020 O'Brien died November 30 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, after he was hit by a truck while waiting on his bicycle at a traffic light. Kerry Flynn, CNN, "Tim O'Brien, award-winning broadcast journalist, dies at 77," 7 Dec. 2020 According to reports, one of the cars rear-ended the other while the first car was stopped at a traffic light. Brian Lisik, cleveland, "Man breaks into ex-girlfriend’s home: Hinckley Township Police Blotter," 7 Dec. 2020 The Washington Post quoted Florida Highway Patrol reports saying O'Brien had been riding a bicycle and waiting on a sidewalk for a traffic light to change. Dominic Massa | Wwl-tv,, "Tim O'Brien, former New Orleans TV reporter, killed in traffic wreck," 1 Dec. 2020 The traffic light at the intersection was still out as of 5 p.m. Wednesday. Pat Stoetzer,, "Van comes to rest atop signal box, holding up telephone pole after collision in Westminster," 18 Nov. 2020 As the bus attempted to clear the intersection, the traffic light changed to red. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, "Sheriff releases traffic investigation results in crash that killed Cpl. Adam McMillan," 4 Nov. 2020 Pedestrians are always given adequate time to cross but those buttons are programmed into the overall city traffic light cycle. Spike Carlsen, Smithsonian Magazine, "Ten Surprising Facts That Will Make Your Walk Around the Block More Interesting," 10 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for traffic light

Time Traveler

The first known use of traffic light was in 1912

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Statistics for traffic light

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Traffic light.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on traffic light

Nglish: Translation of traffic light for Spanish Speakers

Comments on traffic light

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