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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

alight

I.adjective
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
set the world on fire/alight
▪ And now we have Sliver which was the subject of much wrangling and hasn't exactly set the world on fire.
▪ But if Rhodes hasn't set the world on fire with his batting, he certainly has with his fielding.
▪ Either way, the speed and acceleration is not going to set the world on fire.
▪ It was a lovely accomplishment, of course, but nothing to set the world on fire with.
▪ None of the three papers was going to set the world on fire.
▪ The sonorities glow, and the whole thing is user-friendly without setting the world on fire.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ A single standard lamp was alight.
▪ But it stayed alight and soon began to burn merrily.
▪ Further timber was then heaped round the base, soaked in paraffin and then set alight.
▪ He broke in, set a parachute alight and then went back to start a better one.
▪ Mr Chittenden had already doused himself in a flammable liquid and set himself alight.
▪ Often she fell asleep with the candle still alight.
▪ She waited until he grew nearer and then walked up to him, her face alight.
▪ Something else was alight in the undergrowth.
II.verb
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ NOUN
set
▪ The sun set alight the water drops that speckled their leaves and shadowed the ground beneath them.
world
▪ They could have set the world alight.
▪ The film itself didn't set the world alight, but critics and movie-makers were impressed with the young stars.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ A returning female alights within a few feet of where she last left her baby.
▪ As the tram was between stops, they were unable to alight.
▪ Before I could alight from the carriage she was hastily walking away.
▪ Then a great orange-and-black butterfly alighted on her knee.
▪ We alighted from the aircraft steps on to the only paved surface on the island.
▪ When Carver alighted outside the Hilton in Park Lane the limo drove past at speed.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Alight

Alight \A*light"\, a. [Pref. a- + light.] Lighted; lighted up; in a flame. ``The lamps were alight.''
--Dickens.

Alight

Alight \A*light"\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Alightedsometimes Alit; p. pr. & vb. n. Alighting.] [OE. alihten, fr. AS. [=a]l[=i]htan; pref. [=a]- (cf. Goth. us-, G. er-, orig. meaning out) + l[=i]htan, to alight, orig. to render light, to remove a burden from, fr. l[=i]ht, leoht, light. See Light, v. i.]

  1. To spring down, get down, or descend, as from on horseback or from a carriage; to dismount.

  2. To descend and settle, lodge, rest, or stop; as, a flying bird alights on a tree; snow alights on a roof.

  3. To come or chance (upon). [R.]

Wiktionary

alight

Etymology 1 vb. (context transitive English) To make light or less heavy; lighten; alleviate. Etymology 2

vb. 1 {{context|intransitive|with (term from English)|lang=en}} To spring down, get down, or descend, as from on horseback or from a carriage; to dismount. 2 {{context|intransitive|with (term on English)|lang=en}} To descend and settle, lodge, rest, or stop. 3 (context intransitive English) To come or chance (upon). Etymology 3

vb. 1 (context transitive English) To light; light up; illuminate. 2 (context transitive English) To set light to; light. Etymology 4

  1. 1 lit, on fire, switched on. 2 (context figuratively English) lit; on fire, burning. alt. 1 lit, on fire, switched on. 2 (context figuratively English) lit; on fire, burning.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

alight

"to descend, dismount," Old English alihtan, originally "to lighten, take off, take away," from a- "down, aside" (see a- (1)) + lihtan "get off, make light" (see light (v.)). The notion is of getting down off a horse or vehicle, thus lightening it. Of aircraft (originally balloons) from 1786. Related: Alighted; alighting.

alight

"on fire," early 15c., apparently from Middle English aliht, past participle of alihton (Old English on-lihtan) "to light up," also "to shine upon" (see light (n.)).

WordNet

alight

  1. adj. lighted up by or as by fire or flame; "forests set ablaze (or afire) by lightning"; "even the car's tires were aflame"; "a night aflare with fireworks"; "candles alight on the tables"; "blazing logs in the fireplace"; "a burning cigarette"; "a flaming crackling fire"; "houses on fire" [syn: ablaze(p), afire(p), aflame(p), aflare(p), alight(p), blazing, burning, flaming, on fire(p)]

  2. v. to come to rest, settle; "Misfortune lighted upon him" [syn: light, perch]

  3. come down; "the birds alighted" [syn: climb down]

Usage examples of "alight".

She might have struck her skin alight, her favorite trick spell, but she was too addled and exhausted.

The birds withdrew in frenzied flight, probably alighting somewhere beyond, since they were no longer on the wing.

A lodger alighting outside her rented accommodation in Newington Butts would draw attention to herself.

It spun and bucked, alighting on stiffened legs, and Hilliard took flight, landing flat in a muddy puddle a full yard away.

The Marchese surveyed it for a moment in silence, and then alighting from his horse, asked eagerly for the Signora, and was directed into one of the saloons.

I acceded rather reluctantly to the proposition, though at that time I was incapable of ascertaining his intention, which was, after conducting me to a remote part of the structure, to deliver me into the hands of three ruffians, who, having covered me with a veil so thick as to exclude every object from my view, placed me upon a mule, and conveyed me, regardless of my cries, through the deepest recesses of the woods, when, having arrived at a small inn, situated at the extremity of the forest, we stopped without alighting for refreslnnent.

The only thing we have it in our power to do is to base four or five heavy bombing squadrons in Northern Persia to aid the Russians in the defence of the Caucasus, if that be possible, and if the worst happens to bomb the Baku oilfields effectively and try to set the ground alight.

When we got to the door of their house we alighted, and the mother begged me to come in.

It was evident as soon as the passengers alighted that here was not a coaching inn.

He alighted, we embraced one another, and I told him, assuming an air of sadness, that he could not leave before me.

After dinner, Coz got him out a pipe which he proceeded to stuff with manure, or so it smelled when he got the thing alight.

Birds alighted on crocketed chair-backs and on damasked helmets of war.

Faulchion, pierced the Turke so under the Culets throrow backe and body, that although he alighted from his horse, he stood not long ere he lost his head, as the rest had done.

When we alighted we wished each other good night, and everybody retired to his or her room, myself excepted, for I spent several happy hours with Clementine, which I can never forget.

They could alight on a sleeping man without waking him and insinuate their poisoned needles deep into his flesh, sucking his blood, injecting itches, fever, the parasitic worms of filaria, and slow death.