There are 2 main definitions of alight in English:

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alight 1

Line breaks: alight
Pronunciation: /əˈlʌɪt/


1 [no object, with adverbial of place] formal Descend from a train, bus, or other form of transport: visitors should alight at the Fort Road stop
More example sentences
  • Passengers alighting from trains at the city railway station have no easy access to the two bus stations; the subway is of little help and has been vandalised.
  • Police - using a drug-detecting sniffer dog - swooped on suspect passengers boarding and alighting from trains.
  • From the overbridge the pair warned passengers alighting from the train to avoid the Leeds fans by going a different way.
get off, step off, get down;
dismount, disembark, descend, exit;
detrain, deplane
informal pile out
1.1(Of a bird) descend from the air and settle: one bird alighted on the arm of my chair
More example sentences
  • Like birds alighting for a while on a newly seeded lawn, they will peck away at all the possibilities until they have exhausted this area and then move on to another form.
  • On another occasion, an origami bird alights by letters in a banner hanging on a wall.
  • A big, majestic study for this sculpture, in pastel, charcoal and acrylic on brown paper, finds two shadowy birds alighting, and a ghostly doubled head, its mouth stretched painfully wide.
land, come down, come to rest, touch down, light, arrive, descend;
settle, perch, roost, sit, rest

Phrasal verbs

alight on
Find by chance; notice: her eyes alighted on the item in question
More example sentences
  • His gaze alighted on the journalist Eleanor Mills, by chance the stepdaughter of a Cabinet minister.
  • He briefly alights on the historical context of Mongolian expansionism.
  • His hand alights on the Virgin Mother in her blue robe; his thumb presses feverishly over the contours of her face and form, then freezes as recognition of some kind descends.


Old English ālīhtan, from ā- (as an intensifier) + līhtan 'descend' (see light3).

Words that rhyme with alight

affright, alright, aright, bedight, bight, bite, blight, bright, byte, cite, dight, Dwight, excite, fight, flight, fright, goodnight, height, ignite, impolite, indict, indite, invite, kite, knight, light, lite, might, mite, night, nite, outfight, outright, plight, polite, quite, right, rite, sight, site, skintight, skite, sleight, slight, smite, Snow-white, spite, sprite, tight, tonight, trite, twite, underwrite, unite, uptight, white, wight, wright, write
Definition of alight in:
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There are 2 main definitions of alight in English:

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alight 2 Line breaks: alight
Pronunciation: /əˈlʌɪt/

adverb& adjective

1On fire; burning: [as adjective]: the house was alight when the firemen arrived [as adverb]: flammable liquid was set alight
More example sentences
  • A sub-standard home is scheduled to be set alight by fire crews, then demolished by a digger.
  • Mr Swales said they were also concerned about surrounding businesses as the blaze started to spread and set alight a fourth floor fire escape door on an adjoining building.
  • There are always little fires being set alight every day.
on fire, ablaze, aflame, in flames, flaming, burning, blazing, raging, fiery, lit, lighted, ignited
literary afire
1.1Shining brightly: [as adjective]: a single lamp was alight figurative the boy’s face was alight with excitement
More example sentences
  • Her eyes widened with fright and awe; they were alight with a bright white flame, as was every other place on her body she could see.
  • Kathryn nodded; her bright blue eyes alight with excitement.
  • As I slept, the moon outside shone brightly, and the black sky was alight with stars blinking down over my little neighborhood in suburban New York.
lit up, gleaming, glowing, aglow, ablaze, illuminated, brilliant, bright, shining, radiant, shimmering, sparkling, flashing, dazzling, luminous, incandescent


set the world alight
see set the world on fire at fire.
Example sentences
  • By all reports the team haven't been setting the world alight and hopefully we can concentrate on our performance and get a decent result that we really need after the first two results.
  • Hawick have ground out results this season to become the Champions without setting the world alight in terms of their scoring prowess.
  • It is going to be a real struggle and she won't be setting the world alight with how fast she runs it.


Late Middle English: probably from the phrase on a light (= lighted) fire.

Definition of alight in:
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