Definition of sidelight in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈsʌɪdlʌɪt/


1A light placed at the side of something: a designer village with sidelights along the pathways
More example sentences
  • He in turn confers with Geronimo, the local stage tech and they work something out with sidelights.
  • He uses a sidelight to pick out the ridges and hollows of a Calla lily.
  • True to his word, officers had summoned them the night before into the open field, lit dimly by sidelights, to brief them on a full army exercise scheduled to take place the following afternoon.
1.1British A small light on either side of the front of a motor vehicle, used in poor light when full headlights are not required.
Example sentences
  • Both the xenon dipped headlights and sidelights automatically follow the direction of the front wheels.
  • Wander round to the back and the rear light clusters are designed to resemble the iris of an eye, with the sidelights, brake lights and indicators arranged in concentric circles.
  • But for your own safety, look at those cars coming towards you in the fog and rain and note which ones are most difficult to see, those with headlights on or those with silly little sidelights?
1.2 (sidelights) A ship’s navigation lights.
Example sentences
  • Your inspection may show that the sidelights (red port, green starboard), the white stern light and the white maneuvering light are all in order.
  • In regard to maintenance, if your sidelights are more than a few years old, check them at night to see if the lens has perhaps faded from the sun's rays.
  • He first saw one white masthead light of the CONTSHIP SUCCESS at a distance visually estimated at about 4.5 miles and he subsequently saw both masthead lights and the green sidelight at a distance estimated by radar at about 3.8 miles.
1.3 [mass noun] Natural light coming from the side: through the window blazed the cold light of winter morning; sidelight, the most harsh
More example sentences
  • When we think of Vermeer we think of light, that high, grey-white Northern European sidelight flooding into a domestic interior, sometimes finding a moment of warmth, almost always a solemn concentration on domestic ritual.
  • Bold and large textures, such as the bark of a tree or the rough surface of the door detail, are best revealed by strong, direct sidelight.
2A narrow window or pane of glass set alongside a door or larger window: we added French doors with sidelights and a fanlight overhead
More example sentences
  • New French doors, sidelights, and transom windows also open the rear of the master-suite wing.
  • The only embellishments are the narrow sidelights flanking the front door and the small transom window above it.
  • Etched and leaded glass doors, transoms and sidelights boldly decorate the entrance, while providing privacy to various spaces in the home.
3A piece of incidental information that helps to clarify or enliven a subject: one has to wade through pages of extraneous material in order to discover these sidelights on the management of an estate
More example sentences
  • The author's researches have quarried further bits of biographical data and sometimes helpful sidelights and background information on various situations and personalities.
  • An interesting sidelight offered by the Encyclopedia is information on the Chaplain Support Operations, an area overlooked in Second World War histories.
  • For readers of his latest novel, Out of Ireland, the stories of these two girls also provide a fascinating sidelight and illumination of the characters and events in the novel.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: side|light

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.