Northern lights
Light Light (l[imac]t), n. [OE. light, liht, AS. le['o]ht; akin to OS. lioht, D. & G. licht, OHG. lioht, Goth. liuha[thorn], Icel. lj[=o]s, L. lux light, lucere to shine, Gr. leyko`s white, Skr. ruc to shine. [root]122. Cf. {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. [1913 Webster]

Note: 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. [1913 Webster]

2. That which furnishes, or is a source of, light, as the sun, a star, a candle, a lighthouse, etc. [1913 Webster]

Then he called for a light, and sprang in. --Acts xvi. 29. [1913 Webster]

And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. --Gen. i. 16. [1913 Webster]

3. The time during which the light of the sun is visible; day; especially, the dawn of day. [1913 Webster]

The murderer, rising with the light, killeth the poor and needy. --Job xxiv. 14. [1913 Webster]

4. The brightness of the eye or eyes. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

There were windows in three rows, and light was against light in three ranks. --I Kings vii.4. [1913 Webster]

6. Life; existence. [1913 Webster]

O, spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born ! --Pope. [1913 Webster]

7. Open view; a visible state or condition; public observation; publicity. [1913 Webster]

The duke yet would have dark deeds darkly answered; he would never bring them to light. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

8. The power of perception by vision. [1913 Webster]

My strength faileth me; as for the light of my eyes, it also is gone from me. --Ps. xxxviii. 10. [1913 Webster]

9. That which illumines or makes clear to the mind; mental or spiritual illumination; enlightenment; knowledge; information. [1913 Webster]

He shall never know That I had any light of this from thee. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

10. Prosperity; happiness; joy; felicity. [1913 Webster]

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall spring forth speedily. --Is. lviii. 8. [1913 Webster]

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}. Cf. {Chiaroscuro}. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

Frequent consideration of a thing . . . shows it in its several lights and various ways of appearance. --South. [1913 Webster]

13. One who is conspicuous or noteworthy; a model or example; as, the lights of the age or of antiquity. [1913 Webster]

Joan of Arc, A light of ancient France. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

Note: Light is used figuratively to denote that which resembles physical light in any respect, as illuminating, benefiting, enlightening, or enlivening mankind. [1913 Webster]

{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 power 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. [Obs.]

{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. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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