light·​weight | \ ˈlīt-ˌwāt How to pronounce lightweight (audio) \
plural lightweights

Definition of lightweight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one of less than average weight specifically : a boxer in a weight division having a maximum limit of 135 pounds for professionals and 132 pounds for amateurs — compare featherweight, welterweight
2 : one of little consequence or ability a political lightweight
3 : a person who becomes inebriated after consuming relatively small amounts of alcohol or drugs Even at 6 foot 5 inches tall, Dean was a lightweight, and he sounded to be two drinks in, Johnson said.— Kate Sosin



Definition of lightweight (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : lacking in earnestness, ability, or profundity : inconsequential a lightweight painter a lightweight TV series
2 : having less than average weight lightweight fabrics
3 : of, relating to, or characteristic of a lightweight the lightweight championship

Examples of lightweight in a Sentence

Noun The members of his staff were considered lightweights. among astronomers she's considered a lightweight Adjective it's going to be hot, so wear mostly lightweight clothing
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sandy pages are no fun — so bring your favorite beach reads in one lightweight (and waterproof) device instead. Danielle Directo-meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 May 2022 Put it on the scale and the Bronco WildTrak is no lightweight. Kyle Edward, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 Tennis balls can actually wear down your dogs’ teeth, so grab one of these lightweight, bouncy balls to toss around instead. Julianne Ross, CNN Underscored, 2 Apr. 2021 Having a good supply of lightweight, PVC, low-bounce balls is essential, and Franklin provides a whole bucket filled to ensure that stoppages of play are kept to a minimum. Popsci Commerce Team, Popular Science, 22 Sep. 2020 Though lightweight, those latex layers provide flexibility that prevents the hose from kinking while also serving to protect it from thorns, sharp corners, or your pet's curiosity. Nikhita Mahtani, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Apr. 2022 While the all-electric GTS is no lightweight (curb weight is about 5,100 pounds sans occupants), the mass is concentrated very low in the chassis, so handling isn’t compromised. Michael Harley, Forbes, 22 Jan. 2022 On back roads, the rear-drive balance and lightweight feel pulled the Toyobarus ahead of the front-drivers. Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, 29 Nov. 2021 To call Saturday’s main event for the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and The Ring lightweight titles much-anticipated would be an understatement. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, 27 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Super comfy and made of lightweight mesh material, these sneakers are light as air and make any walking or running feel effortless. Annie O’sullivan, Good Housekeeping, 20 Apr. 2022 Mechanical engineers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore have found a new way to build body armor with a lightweight elastomer material that relies on a complex liquid crystal structure. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 5 Apr. 2022 For one thing, its lightweight material will keep you cool on steamy summer days. Brittany Vanderbill,, 5 Apr. 2022 Made from lightweight, breathable material that can be rolled up as small as 6 inches in diameter, this hammock is durable enough to handle outdoor excursions while remaining extremely portable. Samantha Jones, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 Apr. 2022 The lightweight, flexible material also makes for even heat distribution and easy release. Claire Saffitz, Bon Appétit, 21 Jan. 2022 Hoods were cinched tight over dark sunglasses, and pants alternated between heavy-duty leather with utility pockets and lightweight parachute material. Colleen Barry, USA TODAY, 16 Jan. 2022 Its wings and three fuselages all are made of a lightweight carbon-fiber honeycomb material. San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Dec. 2021 In addition to new silks and dyes, there may be other materials artists could use — like chitin, the tough, lightweight material that forms much of the exoskeleton of insects. Greg Miller, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lightweight.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of lightweight


1773, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1809, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for lightweight

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The first known use of lightweight was in 1773

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Dictionary Entries Near lightweight

light wedgwood


lightweight aggregate

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Statistics for lightweight

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lightweight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for lightweight


light·​weight | \ ˈlīt-ˌwāt How to pronounce lightweight (audio) \

Kids Definition of lightweight

: having less than the usual or expected weight

More from Merriam-Webster on lightweight

Nglish: Translation of lightweight for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lightweight for Arabic Speakers


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