Webster's Dictionary, 1913

Search Webster
Word starts with Word or meaning contains
Ligature (lĭg"ȧ*tur; 135) noun [ Latin ligatura , from ligare , ligatum , to bind: confer French ligature . Confer Ally , League , Legatura , Liable , Ligament .]
1. The act of binding.

2. Anything that binds; a band or bandage.

3. (Surg.) (a) A thread or string for tying the blood vessels, particularly the arteries, to prevent hemorrhage. (b) A thread or wire used to remove tumors, etc.

4. The state of being bound or stiffened; stiffness; as, the ligature of a joint.

5. Impotence caused by magic or charms. [ Obsolete]

6. (Mus.) A curve or line connecting notes; a slur.

7. (Print.) A double character, or a type consisting of two or more letters or characters united, as æ , , .

Ligature (lĭg"ȧ*tur) transitive verb (Surg.) To ligate; to tie.

Lige (lĭg" e ) transitive verb & i. To lie; to tell lies. [ Obsolete]

Ligeance (lē"j a ns) noun [ Old French ligeance , ligance . See Liege .] (O. Eng. Law) The connection between sovereign and subject by which they were mutually bound, the former to protection and the securing of justice, the latter to faithful service; allegiance. [ Written also ligeancy and liegance .] Chaucer.

Ligement (lĭj"m e nt) noun See Ledgment .

Ligge (lĭg"g e ) intransitive verb To lie or recline. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Ligger (lĭg"gẽr) noun
1. A baited line attached to a float, for night fishing. See Leger , adjective

2. See Ledger , 2.

Light (līt) noun [ Middle English light , liht , Anglo-Saxon leóht ; akin to Old Saxon lioht , D. & German licht , Old High German lioht , Goth. liuhaþ , Icelandic ljōs , Latin lux light, lucere to shine, Greek leyko`s white, Sanskrit ruc to shine. √122. Confer Lucid , Lunar , Luminous , Lynx .]
1. That agent, force, or action in nature by the operation of which upon the organs of sight, objects are rendered visible or luminous.

» Light was regarded formerly as consisting of material particles, or corpuscules, sent off in all directions from luminous bodies, and traversing space, in right lines, with the known velocity of about 186,300 miles per second; but it is now generally understood to consist, not in any actual transmission of particles or substance, but in the propagation of vibrations or undulations in a subtile, elastic medium, or ether, assumed to pervade all space, and to be thus set in vibratory motion by the action of luminous bodies, as the atmosphere is by sonorous bodies. This view of the nature of light is known as the undulatory or wave theory ; the other, advocated by Newton (but long since abandoned), as the corpuscular , emission , or Newtonian theory . A more recent theory makes light to consist in electrical oscillations, and is known as the electro-magnetic theory of light.

2. That which furnishes, or is a source of, light, as the sun, a star, a candle, a lighthouse, etc.

Then he called for a light , and sprang in.
Acts xvi. 29.

And God made two great lights ; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.
Gen. i. 16.

3. The time during which the light of the sun is visible; day; especially, the dawn of day.

The murderer, rising with the light , killeth the poor and needy.
Job xxiv. 14.

4. The brightness of the eye or eyes.

He seemed to find his way without his eyes;
For out o' door he went without their helps,
And, to the last, bended their light on me.
Shak.

5. The medium through which light is admitted, as a window, or window pane; a skylight; in architecture, one of the compartments of a window made by a mullion or mullions.

There were windows in three rows, and light was against light in three ranks.
I Kings vii.4.

6. Life; existence.

O, spring to light , auspicious Babe, be born!
Pope.

7. Open view; a visible state or condition; public observation; publicity.

The duke yet would have dark deeds darkly answered; he would never bring them to light .
Shak.

8. The power of perception by vision.

My strength faileth me; as for the light of my eyes, it also is gone from me.
Ps. xxxviii. 10.

9. That which illumines or makes clear to the mind; mental or spiritual illumination; enlightenment; knowledge; information.

He shall never know
That I had any light of this from thee.
Shak.

10. Prosperity; happiness; joy; felicity.

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall spring forth speedily.
Is. lviii. 8.

11. (Paint.) The manner in which the light strikes upon a picture; that part of a picture which represents those objects upon which the light is supposed to fall; the more illuminated part of a landscape or other scene; -- opposed to shade . Confer Chiaroscuro .

12. Appearance due to the particular facts and circumstances presented to view; point of view; as, to state things fairly and put them in the right light .

Frequent consideration of a thing . . . shows it in its several lights and various ways of appearance.
South.

13. One who is conspicuous or noteworthy; a model or example; as, the lights of the age or of antiquity.

Joan of Arc,
A light of ancient France.
Tennyson.

14. (Pyrotech.) A firework made by filling a case with a substance which burns brilliantly with a white or colored flame; as, a Bengal light .

» Light is used figuratively to denote that which resembles physical light in any respect, as illuminating, benefiting, enlightening, or enlivening mankind.

Ancient lights (Law) , Calcium light , Flash light , etc. See under Ancient , Calcium , etc. -- Light ball (Mil.) , a ball of combustible materials, used to afford light; -- sometimes made so as to be fired from a cannon or mortar, or to be carried up by a rocket. -- Light barrel (Mil.) , an empty powder barrel pierced with holes and filled with shavings soaked in pitch, used to light up a ditch or a breach. -- Light dues (Com.) , tolls levied on ships navigating certain waters, for the maintenance of lighthouses. - - Light iron , a candlestick. [ Obsolete] -- Light keeper , a person appointed to take care of a lighthouse or light-ship. -- Light money , charges laid by government on shipping entering a port, for the maintenance of lighthouses and light-ships. -- The light of the countenance , favor; kindness; smiles.

Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
Ps. iv. 6.

-- Northern lights . See Aurora borealis , under Aurora . -- To bring to light , to cause to be disclosed. -- To come to light , to be disclosed. -- To see the light , to come into the light; hence, to come into the world or into public notice; as, his book never saw the light . -- To stand in one's own light , to take a position which is injurious to one's own interest.

Light (līt) adjective [ Anglo-Saxon leóht . See Light , noun ] [ Compar . Lighter (-ẽr); superl . Lightest .]
1. Having light; not dark or obscure; bright; clear; as, the apartment is light .

2. White or whitish; not intense or very marked; not of a deep shade; moderately colored; as, a light color; a light brown; a light complexion.

Light transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Lighted (-ĕd) or Lit (lĭt); present participle & verbal noun Lighting .] [ Anglo-Saxon lȳhtan , līhtan , to shine. √122. See Light , noun ]
1. To set fire to; to cause to burn; to set burning; to ignite; to kindle; as, to light a candle or lamp; to light the gas; -- sometimes with up .

If a thousand candles be all lighted from one.
Hakewill.

And the largest lamp is lit .
Macaulay.

Absence might cure it, or a second mistress
Light up another flame, and put out this.
Addison.

2. To give light to; to illuminate; to fill with light; to spread over with light; -- often with up .

Ah, hopeless, lasting flames ! like those that burn
To light the dead.
Pope.

One hundred years ago, to have lit this theater as brilliantly as it is now lighted would have cost, I suppose, fifty pounds.
F. Harrison.

The sun has set, and Vesper, to supply
His absent beams, has lighted up the sky.
Dryden.

3. To attend or conduct with a light; to show the way to by means of a light.

His bishops lead him forth, and light him on.
Landor.

To light a fire , to kindle the material of a fire.

Light intransitive verb
1. To become ignited; to take fire; as, the match will not light .

2. To be illuminated; to receive light; to brighten; -- with up ; as, the room lights up very well.

Light adjective [ Compar. Lighter (-ẽr); superl. Lightest .] [ Middle English light , liht , Anglo-Saxon līht , leóht ; akin to Dutch ligt , German leicht , Old High German līhti , Icelandic lēttr , Danish let , Swedish lätt , Goth. leihts , and perhaps to Latin levis (cf. Levity ), Greek 'elachy`s small, Sanskrit laghu light. √125. ]
1. Having little, or comparatively little, weight; not tending to the center of gravity with force; not heavy.

These weights did not exert their natural gravity, . . . insomuch that I could not guess which was light or heavy whilst I held them in my hand.
Addison.

2. Not burdensome; easy to be lifted, borne, or carried by physical strength; as, a light burden, or load.

Ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light .
Matt. xi. 29, 30.

3. Easy to be endured or performed; not severe; not difficult; as, a light affliction or task. Chaucer.

Light sufferings give us leisure to complain.
Dryden.

4. Easy to be digested; not oppressive to the stomach; as, light food; also, containing little nutriment.

5. Not heavily armed; armed with light weapons; as, light troops; a troop of light horse.

6. Not encumbered; unembarrassed; clear of impediments; hence, active; nimble; swift.

Unmarried men are best friends, best masters . . . but not always best subjects, for they are light to run away.
Bacon.

7. Not heavily burdened; not deeply laden; not sufficiently ballasted; as, the ship returned light .

8. Slight; not important; as, a light error. Shak.

9. Well leavened; not heavy; as, light bread.

10. Not copious or heavy; not dense; not inconsiderable; as, a light rain; a light snow; light vapors.

11. Not strong or violent; moderate; as, a light wind.

12. Not pressing heavily or hard upon; hence, having an easy, graceful manner; delicate; as, a light touch; a light style of execution.

13. Easy to admit influence; inconsiderate; easily influenced by trifling considerations; unsteady; unsettled; volatile; as, a light , vain person; a light mind.

There is no greater argument of a light and inconsiderate person than profanely to scoff at religion.
Tillotson.

14. Indulging in, or inclined to, levity; wanting dignity or solemnity; trifling; gay; frivolous; airy; unsubstantial.

Seneca can not be too heavy, nor Plautus too light .
Shak.

Specimens of New England humor laboriously light and lamentably mirthful.
Hawthorne.

15. Not quite sound or normal; somewhat impaired or deranged; dizzy; giddy.

Are his wits safe? Is he not light of brain ?
Shak.

16. Easily bestowed; inconsiderately rendered.

To a fair semblance doth light faith annex.
Spenser.

17. Wanton; unchaste; as, a woman of light character.

A light wife doth make a heavy husband.
Shak.

18. Not of the legal, standard, or usual weight; clipped; diminished; as, light coin.

19. Loose; sandy; easily pulverized; as, a light soil.

Light cavalry , Light horse (Mil.) , light-armed soldiers mounted on strong and active horses. -- Light eater , one who eats but little. -- Light infantry , infantry soldiers selected and trained for rapid evolutions. -- Light of foot . (a) Having a light step. (b) Fleet. -- Light of heart , gay, cheerful. -- Light oil (Chemistry) , the oily product, lighter than water, forming the chief part of the first distillate of coal tar, and consisting largely of benzene and toluene. -- Light sails (Nautical) , all the sails above the topsails, with, also, the studding sails and flying jib. Dana. -- Light sleeper , one easily wakened. -- Light weight , a prize fighter, boxer, wrestler, or jockey, who is below a standard medium weight. Confer Feather weight , under Feather . [ Cant] -- To make light of , to treat as of little consequence; to slight; to disregard. -- To set light by , to undervalue; to slight; to treat as of no importance; to despise.

Light (līt) adverb Lightly; cheaply. Hooker.

Light transitive verb [ See Light not heavy, and confer Light to alight, and Lighten to make less heavy.] To lighten; to ease of a burden; to take off. [ Obsolete]

From his head the heavy burgonet did light .
Spenser.

Light intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Lighted (-ĕd) or Lit (lĭt); present participle & verbal noun Lighting .] [ Anglo-Saxon līhtan to alight, orig., to relieve (a horse) of the rider's burden, to make less heavy, from līht light. See Light not heavy, and confer Alight , Lighten to make light.]
1. To dismount; to descend, as from a horse or carriage; to alight; -- with from , off , on , upon , at , in .

When she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.
Gen. xxiv. 64.

Slowly rode across a withered heath,
And lighted at a ruined inn.
Tennyson.

2. To feel light; to be made happy. [ Obsolete]

It made all their hearts to light .
Chaucer.

3. To descend from flight, and rest, perch, or settle, as a bird or insect.

[ The bee] lights on that, and this, and tasteth all.
Sir. J. Davies.

On the tree tops a crested peacock lit .
Tennyson.

4. To come down suddenly and forcibly; to fall; -- with on or upon .

On me, me only, as the source and spring
Of all corruption, all the blame lights due.
Milton.

5. To come by chance; to happen; -- with on or upon ; formerly with into .

The several degrees of vision, which the assistance of glasses (casually at first lit on) has taught us to conceive.
Locke.

They shall light into atheistical company.
South.

And here we lit on Aunt Elizabeth,
And Lilia with the rest.
Tennyson.

Light year (Astron.) The distance over which light can travel in a year's time; -- used as a unit in expressing stellar distances. It is more than 63,000 times as great as the distance from the earth to the sun.

Light-armed (-ärmd`) adjective Armed with light weapons or accouterments.

Light-boat (-bōt`) noun Light-ship.

Light-fingered (līt"fĭn`gẽrd) adjective Dexterous in taking and conveying away; thievish; pilfering; addicted to petty thefts. Fuller.

Light-foot (-fot`), Light"-foot`ed adjective Having a light, springy step; nimble in running or dancing; active; as, light-foot Iris. Tennyson.

Light-handed (līt"hănd`ĕd) adjective (Nautical) Not having a full complement of men; as, a vessel light-handed .

Light-headed (-hĕd`ĕd) adjective
1. Disordered in the head; dizzy; delirious. Walpole.

2. Thoughtless; heedless; volatile; unsteady; fickle; loose. " Light-headed , weak men." Clarendon.

-- Light"-head`ed*ness , noun

Light-hearted (-härt`ĕd) adjective Free from grief or anxiety; gay; cheerful; merry. -- Light"-heart`ed*ly , adverb - - Light"-heart`ed*ness , noun

Light-heeled (-hēld`) adjective Lively in walking or running; brisk; light-footed.

Light-horseman (-hôrs`m a n) noun ; plural -men (- m e n).


1. A soldier who serves in the light horse. See under 5th Light .

2. (Zoology) A West Indian fish of the genus Ephippus , remarkable for its high dorsal fin and brilliant colors.

Light-legged (līt"lĕgd`) adjective Nimble; swift of foot. Sir P. Sidney.

Light-minded (-mīnd`ĕd) adjective Unsettled; unsteady; volatile; not considerate. -- Light"-mind`ed*ness , noun

Light-o'-love (līt"o-lŭv`) noun
1. An old tune of a dance, the name of which made it a proverbial expression of levity, especially in love matters. Nares. "Best sing it to the tune of light-o'-love ." Shak.

2. Hence: A light or wanton woman. Beau. & Fl.

Lightable (-ȧ*b'l) adjective Such as can be lighted.

Lighte (līt" e ), obsolete imperfect of Light , to alight. Chaucer.

Lighten (līt"'n) intransitive verb [ See Light to alight.] To descend; to light.

O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us.
Book of Common Prayer [ Eng. Ed.].

Lighten transitive verb [ See Light to illuminate.]
1. To make light or clear; to light; to illuminate; as, to lighten an apartment with lamps or gas; to lighten the streets. [ In this sense less common than light. ]

A key of fire ran all along the shore,
And lightened all the river with a blaze.
Dryden.

2. To illuminate with knowledge; to enlighten. [ In this sense less common than enlighten .]

Lighten my spirit with one clear heavenly ray.
Sir J. Davies.

3. To emit or disclose in, or as in, lightning; to flash out, like lightning.

His eye . . . lightens forth
Controlling majesty.
Shak.

4. To free from trouble and fill with joy.

They looked unto him, and were lightened .
Ps. xxxiv. 5.

Lighter (līt"ẽr) noun One who, or that which, lights; as, a lighter of lamps.

Lighter noun [ Dutch ligter , from ligt light. See Light not heavy.] (Nautical) A large boat or barge, mainly used in unloading or loading vessels which can not reach the wharves at the place of shipment or delivery.

Lighter screw (Machinery) , a screw for adjusting the distance between the stones in a grinding mill by raising or lowering the bridgetree.

Lighter transitive verb To convey by a lighter, as to or from the shore; as, to lighter the cargo of a ship.

Lighterage (-aj; 48) noun
1. The price paid for conveyance of goods on a lighter.

2. The act of unloading into a lighter, or of conveying by a lighter.

Lighterman (-măn) noun ; plural Lightermen (-mĕn). A person employed on, or who manages, a lighter.

Lightful (līt"ful) adjective Full of light; bright. [ R.] " Lightful presence." Marston.

Lighthouse (-hous`) noun ; plural Lighthouses (-houz`ĕz). A tower or other building with a powerful light at top, erected at the entrance of a port, or at some important point on a coast, to serve as a guide to mariners at night; a pharos.

Lighting noun (Metal.) A name sometimes applied to the process of annealing metals.

Lightless adjective Destitute of light; dark. Shak.

Lightly adverb
1. With little weight; with little force; as, to tread lightly ; to press lightly .

Yet shall thy grave with rising flowers be drest,
And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast.
Pope.

Him thus intent Ithuriel with his spear
Touched lightly .
Milton.

2. Swiftly; nimbly; with agility.

So mikle was that barge, it might not lightly sail.
R. of Brunne.

Watch what thou seest and lightly bring me word.
Tennyson.

3. Without deep impression.

The soft ideas of the cheerful note,
Lightly received, were easily forgot.
Prior.

4. In a small degree; slightly; not severely.

At the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun . . . and afterward did more grievously afflict her.
Is. ix. 1.

5. With little effort or difficulty; easily; readily.

That lightly come, shall lightly go.
Old Proverb.

They come lightly by the malt, and need not spare it.
Sir W. Scott.

6. Without reason, or for reasons of little weight.

Flatter not the rich, neither do thou willingly or lightly appear before great personages.
Jer. Taylor.

7. Commonly; usually. [ Obsolete] Bp. Fisher.

The great thieves of a state are lightly the officers of the crown.
B. Jonson.

8. Without dejection; cheerfully. "Seeming to bear it lightly ." Shak.

9. Without heed or care; with levity; gayly; airily.

Matrimony . . . is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly , or wantonly.
Book of Common Prayer [ Eng. Ed.].

10. Not chastely; wantonly. Swift.

Lightman (-măn) noun ; plural -men (-mĕn). A man who carries or takes care of a light. T. Brown.

Lightness noun [ From Light not heavy.] The state, condition, or quality, of being light or not heavy; buoyancy; levity; fickleness; nimbleness; delicacy; grace.

Syn. -- Levity; volatility; instability; inconstancy; unsteadiness; giddiness; flightiness; airiness; gayety; liveliness; agility; nimbleness; sprightliness; briskness; swiftness; ease; facility.

Lightning (līt"nĭng) noun [ For lightening , from lighten to flash.]
1. A discharge of atmospheric electricity, accompanied by a vivid flash of light, commonly from one cloud to another, sometimes from a cloud to the earth. The sound produced by the electricity in passing rapidly through the atmosphere constitutes thunder.

2. The act of making bright, or the state of being made bright; enlightenment; brightening, as of the mental powers. [ R.]

Ball lightning , a rare form of lightning sometimes seen as a globe of fire moving from the clouds to the earth. -- Chain lightning , lightning in angular, zigzag, or forked flashes. -- Heat lightning , more or less vivid and extensive flashes of electric light, without thunder, seen near the horizon, esp. at the close of a hot day. -- Lightning arrester (Telegraphy) , a device, at the place where a wire enters a building, for preventing injury by lightning to an operator or instrument. It consists of a short circuit to the ground interrupted by a thin nonconductor over which lightning jumps. Called also lightning discharger . -- Lightning bug (Zoology) , a luminous beetle. See Firefly . -- Lightning conductor , a lightning rod. - - Lightning glance , a quick, penetrating glance of a brilliant eye. -- Lightning rod , a metallic rod set up on a building, or on the mast of a vessel, and connected with the earth or water below, for the purpose of protecting the building or vessel from lightning. -- Sheet lightning , a diffused glow of electric light flashing out from the clouds, and illumining their outlines. The appearance is sometimes due to the reflection of light from distant flashes of lightning by the nearer clouds.

Lightning (līt"nĭng) verbal noun Lightening. [ R.]

Lightroom (-rōm`) noun A small room from which the magazine of a naval vessel is lighted, being separated from the magazine by heavy glass windows.