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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

lightly

adverb
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
easily/lightly (=without much thought)
▪ This is a question that cannot be dismissed lightly.
it rains slightly/lightly (=a little water comes down)
▪ It’s raining slightly, but we can still go out.
kiss sb gently/lightly
▪ He kissed her gently and stroked her hair.
let sb off lightly/easily (=give someone a less serious punishment than they deserve)
▪ I think young criminals are let off far too lightly.
sparsely/thinly/lightly populated (=with very few people)
sth is not to be undertaken lightly (=not to be started without serious thought, for example because it is difficult)
▪ It was not a voyage to be undertaken lightly.
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADJECTIVE
brown
▪ In a saute pan, lightly brown quail with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
▪ Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to saute pan and lightly brown rabbit pieces.
▪ Add onion to pan and saute until lightly brown.
▪ Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly brown.
▪ Remove cover and cook until filling is lightly brown, 5 to 10 minutes longer.
▪ In medium-sized, heavy saucepan, saute onion in oil until lightly brown and tender.
floured
▪ Turn out on to a lightly floured table top and knead thoroughly until smooth.
▪ Turn out dough and knead on a lightly floured surface until firm.
▪ Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface and punch it down.
▪ Roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin to a rectangle the same size as the tin.
▪ Knead thoroughly on a lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic. 2.
■ VERB
arm
▪ They were more lightly armed than Alfonso's knights, but their new way of fighting turned the scales in their favour.
beat
▪ Serves 4 1 Lightly beat the double cream until holding soft peaks.
▪ In small bowl, lightly beat eggs.
brush
▪ Lightly brush with one tablespoon of melted butter, bake for 5-8 minutes until just soft.
▪ Make the egg wash by whisking the egg and the water thoroughly together, and lightly brush the mixture on the dough.
▪ He moved to touch her arms and she lightly brushed his lips with hers.
▪ Put cookies on prepared sheets. Brush lightly with buttermilk and sprinkle with the remaining cup coconut and powdered sugar.
▪ He shifted his weight so that his body brushed lightly against hers.
▪ Up again, under his chin, now lightly brushing his mouth.
▪ To finish the roses, lightly brush green colouring around edge of each petal.
▪ Lightly brush the surface with water.
coat
▪ The inner has been lightly coated with Scotchgard, which helps to prevent the fabric from absorbing water.
▪ Then the whole thing is cooked slowly in a nonstick pan lightly coated with olive oil or clarified butter.
▪ Lightly coat your hands with one or two drops and smooth over your hair, before or after styling.
▪ Lightly salt the cucumber and then mix with just enough of the yogurt to lightly coat the cucumber.
▪ Drizzle vinaigrette over watercress to coat lightly.
▪ Add more sauce to lightly coat noodles.
▪ Using a pastry brush, coat lightly with corn oil.
colored
▪ Add onion, garlic, and shallots to pan and saute until lightly colored, about 7 minutes.
▪ Using the same pot, saute garlic, onion, carrot, and celery in remaining oil until lightly colored.
▪ To make lentils, in a medium-sized saucepan, heat oil and saute carrot, onion, and celery until lightly colored.
dismiss
▪ Such fears, however, should not be dismissed lightly in so far as genetic engineering is still in its infancy.
▪ No one who has read Errors and Expectations can lightly dismiss the open admissions student.
▪ But the word was not to be so lightly dismissed from his mind.
▪ Never think that I dismiss lightly the hard work and devotion that go into each small volume.
▪ The commune provided some marginal bargaining power for the peasantry since concerted resistance could not be lightly dismissed.
▪ That is what is at issue, and it is a question that can not be dismissed lightly.
▪ The safeguards provided by the Act should not be dismissed lightly.
▪ Her reasons are not to be and were not dismissed lightly, but during the hearing the situation changed dramatically.
flour
▪ Add about 2 more cups flour to make manageable dough and turn out on to lightly floured surface.
▪ Turn dough on to a lightly floured board or other surface and knead lightly 7 or 8 times.
▪ Lightly flour rabbit pieces and brown in batches in oil.
▪ Turn batter into a well-buttered and lightly floured 9-inch tube pan.
▪ Turn dough on to lightly floured surface; gently roll in flour to coat.
▪ Gather up dough and knead on a lightly floured board until smooth, about 5 minutes.
▪ Unwrap and knead again on a lightly floured board for 5 minutes.
▪ On a lightly floured board, knead the dough for a couple of minutes.
kiss
▪ She kisses lightly, licks around the tip, and he's proud like a teenage boy.
▪ They undressed in the dark, kissed lightly, and lay down, each in his separate narrow cot.
press
▪ It is slightly creamier than Wensleydale, but is also lightly pressed so it always has a soft texture.
▪ Turn each ball around in the coating, lightly pressing it in.
▪ The samples were lightly pressed down using a sheet of newspaper.
▪ Sprinkle evenly with sesame seeds, pressing lightly to make them adhere.
▪ The cheese is only lightly pressed, which explains its slightly open texture.
▪ Place top half of loaf on top of sandwich and press lightly.
rest
▪ Your hands will now be resting lightly over your ribs. 3.
▪ Those hands, she thought, one resting lightly on her thigh while the other cleaned the wound.
▪ He could just see Hasan, sitting, as usual, quite still, his hands resting lightly on the desk in front of him.
▪ They scrambled from the police car and headed down a narrow alleyway, their hands resting lightly on their sheathed batons.
▪ Her hands, white to the knuckle-bone, rested lightly on his shoulders.
▪ Tuan Ti Fo stood there for some time, staring at the door, the wicker basket resting lightly in his hand.
▪ Their hands were resting lightly on the wizard's shoulders.
run
▪ Something or other ran lightly over his foot and up his leg as far as his knee.
▪ She heard him running lightly down the stairs, and breathed a long sigh of relief.
▪ Pascoe left him and ran lightly upstairs.
▪ Using circular movements, run lightly until skin is smooth.
▪ Just then, they heard footsteps running lightly up the stairs nearest to them.
▪ The approaching footsteps ran lightly to the top of the stairs and came towards them.
take
▪ People do not lightly take the decision to migrate.
▪ Those commitments are real and not to be lightly taken.
▪ Trimming the machinery fleet and the drivers needed to operate it is never an easy task nor one to be taken lightly.
▪ It should not be taken lightly because acne can cause permanent scarring and emotional problems.
▪ Now she would have liked them to have covered the warmth of the hand which Mr Carson took lightly in his.
▪ Strategic support groups are an invaluable form of peer coaching, but they are not to be taken lightly.
▪ Even then the move wasn't taken lightly.
▪ Obviously, this is not a step our great republic takes lightly.
tap
▪ And she descended the stairs and, tapping lightly on the door, turned the handle and went in.
▪ Cops in twos and threes huddle, lightly tap their thighs with night sticks and smile at me with benevolence.
▪ She tapped lightly on the tall, wide, ornately panelled door, then pushed it open and walked in.
▪ Our driver rolled up his window and backed away, lightly tapping the front bumper of the car behind.
▪ He walked towards the door and tapped lightly on it.
▪ Glover lightly tapped his cane, looked off over the yellow lights dancing in the lake.
▪ I thought I'd remove it and, taking a hammer from the toolshed, lightly tapped the offending projection.
toast
▪ You can lightly toast the seeds in a warm oven.
▪ Lightly toast the bread and spread the cheese over the warm slices.
▪ He folded the lightly toasted slice, ready at last to eat.
touch
▪ The boy had turned on to his side, the fingers of one hand lightly touching his neck.
▪ And now the magic wand of scent had lightly touched, and passed.
▪ As a safety feature, the rocker need only be lightly touched on the back section to cut the motor.
▪ I notice George lightly touching the temporal lobe, exploring for scar tissue once more.
▪ She turned to her neighbour, Colonel Crossley-Payne, and very lightly touched his arm.
▪ I lightly touch each fold in her fat baby arms, stroke her wrists and fingers.
▪ She opened the desk and took out a powder compact and lightly touched her reddened lids.
▪ Pour batter into pan and bake until cake springs back when touched lightly in center, 45 to 30 minutes.
tread
▪ They did not tread lightly in the cloying mud, and deserved victory for a greater variety and directness in attack.
treat
▪ Its conduct is not to be treated lightly.
▪ No wonder this is a subject that veterans do not treat lightly.
▪ But such threats should never be treated lightly.
undertake
▪ The exchanging of tokens was, like the exchanging of vows, not to be undertaken lightly.
▪ Saving seed can help balance the books, but it's not to be undertaken lightly.
▪ The story of Combsburgh - an imaginary place Writing a good parish history is not a task to be undertaken lightly.
▪ Methods of Excavation Excavation is both costly and destructive, and therefore never to be undertaken lightly.
▪ However, teaching should not be undertaken lightly.
▪ A bank loan should not be undertaken lightly, especially if your bank manager wants security for the loan.
▪ This is not a step to be undertaken lightly for it can have serious implications, even if the test result is negative.
▪ Identifying handwriting is normally a tortuous and time-consuming job, not to be undertaken lightly.
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
let sb down lightly/gently
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ I knocked lightly on the door.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ A quick-to-prepare, pretty and unusual fruit based starter followed by lightly cooked salmon.
▪ Getting up from rummaging in the wastepaper basket, she bumped her head, very lightly, on the sink.
▪ In a large bowl, lightly cream together the margarine and sugar.
▪ In the light of this awesome fact, how can we treat our membership of that body so lightly?
▪ Mix together lightly to form 6 oblong patties.
▪ Place sage leaves under the skin of quail and season birds lightly with salt and pepper.
▪ Saute, stirring often, until corn is lightly browned.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Lightly

Lightly \Light"ly\, adv.

  1. With little weight; with little force; as, to tread lightly; to press lightly.

    Yet shall thy grave with rising flowers be drest, And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast.
    --Pope.

    Him thus intent Ithuriel with his spear Touched lightly.
    --Milton.

  2. Swiftly; nimbly; with agility.

    So mikle was that barge, it might not lightly sail.
    --R. of Brunne.

    Watch what thou seest and lightly bring me word.
    --Tennyson.

  3. Without deep impression.

    The soft ideas of the cheerful note, Lightly received, were easily forgot.
    --Prior.

  4. In a small degree; slightly; not severely.

    At the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun . . . and afterward did more grievously afflict her.
    --Is. ix. 1.

  5. With little effort or difficulty; easily; readily.

    That lightly come, shall lightly go.
    --Old Proverb.

    They come lightly by the malt, and need not spare it.
    --Sir W. Scott.

  6. Without reason, or for reasons of little weight.

    Flatter not the rich, neither do thou willingly or lightly appear before great personages.
    --Jer. Taylor.

  7. Commonly; usually. [Obs.]
    --Bp. Fisher.

    The great thieves of a state are lightly the officers of the crown.
    --B. Jonson.

  8. Without dejection; cheerfully. ``Seeming to bear it lightly.''
    --Shak.

  9. Without heed or care; with levity; gayly; airily.

    Matrimony . . . is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly.
    --Book of Common Prayer [Eng. Ed.].

  10. Not chastely; wantonly.
    --Swift.

WordNet

lightly

  1. adv. without good reason; "one cannot say such things lightly"

  2. with few burdens; "experienced travellers travel light" [syn: light]

  3. with little weight or force; "she kissed him lightly on the forehead" [syn: softly, gently]

  4. indulging with temperance; "we eat lightly in the morning" [ant: heavily]

  5. with indifference or without dejection; "he took it lightly"

  6. in a small quantity or extent; "spread the margarine thinly over the meat"; "apply paint lightly" [syn: thinly] [ant: thickly]

  7. to a slight degree; "her speech is only lightly accented"

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

lightly

Old English leohtlice "so as not to be heavy" (of material things, but also of sleep, blows, etc.); cognate with Old Frisian lichtelik, Old High German lihtlihho, German leichtlich, Old Norse lettlega (see light (adj.1)). Meaning "frivolously, indifferently" is from early 13c.

Wiktionary

lightly

adv. In a light manner.

Usage examples of "lightly".

There were a few lightly coloured Aboriginal boys left and they kept an eye on me.

The metal hoops of the accelerating cage sang lightly as the weight came on.

If Addis spoke lightly of your role, it was only to permit you to refuse with no embarrassment, since in failure your fate will be worse than his.

Laying aside the first branch, Nysander passed the birch switch through the flame and water and struck Alec lightly on his cheeks, shoulders, chest, thighs, and feet, then snapped the stick in two.

Instead, it was as though his words about the squire, lightly spoken, had reminded Libby Ames of .

Hall-Sun in that ancient garment, which fell straight and stiff down to her ancles as she stepped lightly and slowly along, her head crowned with a garland of eglantine.

Touching her lightly on the arm, he turned her back for the long walk along the aqueduct, their shadows mingling, bending, and twisting along the high banks of encroaching sand.

She was like a long, lightly stunned fish - made to lie coolly atwitch, but airy in the hand.

Straightening, he went out to Azar who now stood with her hand lightly resting on the wall.

Then my lord turned to me while the king took no heed, and no man in the ring of knights moved from his place, and he set me in the saddle, and turned about to mount, and there came a lord from the ring of men gloriously bedight, and he bowed lowly before my lord, and held his stirrup for him: but lightly he leapt up into the saddle, and took my reins and led me along with him, so that he and the king and I went on together, and all the baronage and their folk shouted and tossed sword and spear aloft and followed after us.

I have touched lightly on the matter, only to give to my readers some idea of my conduct in my own country, where I began to tread a path which was to lead me to a state prison as inscrutable as it was unconstitutional.

Leading the beisa by six inches, he vaulted lightly into the back seat and crouched on the floorboards, covering his head with both arms while the beisa battered the sides of the Rolls, driving in one door and ripping the paintwork with the deadly horns.

Satisfied that the beisa was at last dead, the Count descended and walked slowly towards a nearby clump of thorn scrub, but his gait was bow-legged and stiff, for he had lightly soiled his magnificently monogrammed silk underwear.

She turned down a corridor to her left, then ran lightly down several levels of stairs, her grace causing the Icarii birdman who soared past her to turn his head and watch for long moments until the Groundwalker woman disappeared into a corridor far below.

Delicately carved and lightly gilded white boiserie paneled the walls.