There are 2 definitions of alight in English:


Syllabification: a·light
Pronunciation: /əˈlīt


[no object]
1(Of a bird) descend from the air and settle: a lovely blue swallow alighted on a branch
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.
1.1Descend from a train, bus, or other form of transportation: the conductor alights to push the cable car completely around
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, disembark from, pile out of; detrain, deplane; dismount


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

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.

Definition of alight in:

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Word of the day setose
Pronunciation: ˈsēˌtōs
bearing bristles or setae; bristly

There are 2 definitions of alight in English:


Syllabification: a·light
Pronunciation: /

adverb & adjective

1On fire; burning: [as adjective]: the house was well 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.
burning, ablaze, aflame, on fire, in flames, blazing
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, bright, shining, resplendent, radiant


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

Definition of alight in: