a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z |



The rent of an estate that continues for life.


The spring or source of life. – Everett.


A nerve or string that is imagined to be essential to life.


The time that life continues; duration of life. – Addison.


Tired of life; weary of living. – Shak.

LIFT, n.

  1. The act of raising; a lifting; as, the lift of the feet in walking or running. – Bacon. The goat gives the fox a life. – L'Estrange.
  2. An effort to raise; as, give us a lift. [Popular use.]
  3. That which is to be raised.
  4. A dead lift, an ineffectual effort to raise; or the thing which the strength is not sufficient to raise.
  5. Any thing to be done which exceeds the strength; or a state of inability; as, to help one at a dead lift. – Butler. Swift.
  6. A rise; a degree of elevation; as, the lift of a lock in canals. – Gallatin.
  7. In Scottish, the sky; the atmosphere; the firmament. [Sax. lyft, air, Sw. luft.]
  8. In seamen's language, a rope descending from the cap and mast-head to the extremity of a yard. Its use is to support the yard, keep it in equilibrio, and raise the end, when occasion requires. – Mar. Dict.

LIFT, v.i.

  1. To try to raise; to exert the strength for the purpose of raising or bearing. The body strained by lifting at a weight too heavy. – Locke.
  2. To practice theft. [Obs.] – Spenser.

LIFT, v.t. [Sw. lyfta; Dan. löfter, to lift; Goth. hlifan, to steal; Sax. hlifan, to be high or conspicuous; Goth. hliftus, a thief. We retain this sense in shoplifter. L. levo, elevo, It. levare, to lift; Sp. levar, to carry or transport; Fr. lever, perhaps, L. levis, light.]

  1. To raise; to elevate; as, to lift the foot or the hand; to lift the head.
  2. To raise; to elevate mentally. To thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. – Ps. xxv.
  3. To raise in fortune. The eye of the Lord lifted up his bead from misery. – Ecclus.
  4. To raise in estimation, dignity or rank. His fortune has lifted him into notice, or into office. The Roman virtues lift up mortal man. – Addison.
  5. To elate; to cause to swell, as with pride. Up is often used after lift, as a qualifying word; sometimes with effect or emphasis; very often, however, it is useless.
  6. To bear; to support. – Spenser.
  7. To steal, that is, to take and carry away. Hence we retain the use of shoplifter, although the verb in this sense is obsolete.
  8. In Scripture, to crucify. When ye have lifted up the Son of man. – John viii. To lift up the eyes, to look; to fix the eyes on. Lot lifted up his eyes and beheld Jordan. – Gen. xiii. #2. To direct the desires to God in prayer. Ps. cxxi. To lift up the head, to raise from a low condition; to exalt. – Gen. xl. #2. To rejoice. – Luke xxi. To lift up the hand, to swear, or to confirm by oath. – Gen. xiv. #2. To raise the hands in prayer. – Ps. xxviii. #3. To rise in opposition to; to rebel; to assault. – 2 Sam. xviii. #4. To injure or oppress. – Job xxxi. #5. To shake off sloth and engage in duty. – Heb. xii. To lift up the face, to look to with confidence, cheerfulness and comfort. – Job xxii. To lift up the heel against, to treat with insolence and contempt. To lift up the horn, to behave arrogantly or scornfully. – Ps. lxxv. To lift up the feet, to come speedily to one's relief. – Ps. lxxiv. To lift up the voice, to cry aloud; to call out, either in grief or joy. – Gen. xxi. Is. xxiv.

LIFT'ED, pp.

Raised; elevated; swelled with pride.


One that lifts or raises.


The act of lifting; assistance.

LIFT'ING, ppr.

Raising; swelling with pride.

LIG, v.i.

To lie. [See Lie.] [Obs.] – Chaucer.

LIG'A-MENT, n. [L. ligamentum, from ligo, to bind, that is, to strain.]

  1. Any thing that ties or unites one thing or part to an other. Interwoven is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts. – Washington.
  2. In anatomy, a strong, compact substance, serving to bind one bone to another. It is a white, solid, inelastic, tendinous substance, softer than cartilage, but harder than membrane. – Encyc. Quincy. Coxe.
  3. Bond; chain; that which binds or restrains. – Addison.


Composing a ligament; of the nature of a ligament; binding; as, a strong ligamentous membrane. – Wiseman.

LI-GA'TION, n. [L. ligatio.]

The act of binding or state of being bound. – Addison.

LIG'A-TURE, n. [Fr. from L. ligatura.]

  1. Any thing that binds; a band or bandage. – Ray.
  2. The act of binding; as, by a strict ligature of the parts. – Arbuthnot.
  3. Impotence induced by magic. – Coxe. Encyc.
  4. In music, a band or line connecting notes.
  5. Among printers, a double character, or a type consisting of two letters or characters united; as, , , in English. The old editions of Greek authors abound with ligatures.
  6. The state of being bound. – Mortimer.
  7. In medicine, stiffness of a joint. – Coxe.
  8. In surgery, a cord or string for tying the blood-vessels particularly the arteries, to prevent hemorrhage.

LIGHT, a.1 [lite.]

  1. Bright; clear; not dark or obscure; as, the morning is light; the apartment is light.
  2. In colors, white or whitish; as, a light color; a light brown; a light complexion.

LIGHT, a.2 [lite; Sax. liht, leohr; D. ligt; G. leicht; Fr. leger; It. leggiero; Port. ligeiro; Sp. ligero; Russ. legkei; Sans. leka. The Sw. lätt, Dan. let, may be contractions of the same word. The Slavonic also has lehek and legok. Qu. L. alacer. This word accords with light, the fluid, in orthography, and may be from the same radix.]

  1. Having little weight; not tending to center of gravity with force; not heavy. A feather is light, compared with lead or silver; but a thing is light, only comparatively. That which is light to a man, may be heavy to a child. A light burden for a camel may be insupportable to a horse.
  2. Not burdensome; easy to be lifted, borne or carried by physical strength; as, a light burden, weight or load.
  3. Not oppressive; easy to be suffered or endured; as, a light affliction. – 2 Cor. iv.
  4. Easy to be performed; not difficult; not requiring great strength or exertion. The task is light; the work is light.
  5. Easy to be digested; not oppressive to the stomach; as, light food. It may signify, also, containing little nutriment.
  6. Not heavily armed, or armed with light weapons; as, light troops; a troop of light horse.
  7. Active; swift; nimble. Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe. 2 Sam. ii.
  8. Not encumbered; unembarrassed; clear of impediments. Unmarried men are best masters, but not best subjects; for they are light to run away. – Bacon.
  9. Not laden; not deeply laden; not sufficiently ballasted. The ship returned light.
  10. Slight; trifling; not important; as, a light error. – Boyle.
  11. Not dense; not gross; as, light vapors; light fumes. – Dryden.
  12. Small; inconsiderable; not copious or vehement; as, a light rain; a light snow.
  13. Not strong; not violent; moderate; as, a light wind.
  14. Easy to admit influence; inconsiderate; easily influenced by trifling considerations; unsteady; unsettled; violatile; as, a light, vain person; a light mind. There is no greater argument of a light and inconsiderate person, than profanely to scoff at religion. – Tillotson.
  15. Gay; airy; indulging levity; wanting dignity or solidity; trifling. Seneca can not be too heavy, nor Plautus too light. – Shak. We may neither be light in prayer, nor wrathful in debate. – J. M. Mason.
  16. Wanton; unchaste; as, a woman of light carriage. A light wife doth make a heavy linsband. – Shak.
  17. Not of legal weight; clipped; diminished; as, light coin.
  18. Loose; sandy; easily pulverized; as, a light soil. To set light by, to undervalue; to slight; to treat as of no importance; to despise. To make light of, to treat as of little consequence; to slight; to disregard.

LIGHT, n. [lite; Sax. leoht, liht; D. and G. licht; L. lux, light, and luceo, to shine; Port. and Sp. luz, light; W. llug, tending to break out or open, or to shoot, to gleam, and as a noun, a breaking out in blotches, a gleam, indistinct light; llwg, that is apt to break out, that is bright, a tumor, an eruption; llygu, to make bright, to clear, to break out, to appear in spots; lluç, a darting, sudden throw, glance, flash; lluçiaw, to throw, to fling, to pelt; lluçed, a gleam, lightning. This word furnishes a full and distinct explanation of the original sense of light, to throw, dart, shoot, or break forth; and it accords with Eng. luck, both in elements and radical sense. Class Lg, No. 6, 7, 23, 24.]

  1. That ethereal agent or matter which makes objects perceptible to the sense of seeing, but the particles of which are separately invisible. It has been believed that light is a fluid or real matter, existing independent of the substances, with properties peculiar to itself. Its velocity is astonishing, as it passes through a space of nearly twelve millions of miles in a minute. Light, when decomposed is found to consist of rays differently colored; as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. The sun is the principal source of light in the solar system; but light is also emitted from bodies ignited, or in combustion, and is reflected from enlightened bodies, as the moon. Light also emitted from certain putrefying substances. It is usually united with heat, but it exists also independent of it. – Hooper. Nicholson. Encyc.
  2. That flood of luminous rays which flows from the sun and constitutes day. God called the light day, and the darkness he called night. – Gen. i.
  3. Day; the dawn of day. The murderer rising with the light, killeth the poor and needy. – Job xxiv.
  4. Life. O, spring to light, auspicious babe, be born! – Pope.
  5. Any thing that gives light; as a lamp, candle, taper, lighted tower, star, &c. Then he called for a light, and sprang in. – Acts xvi. I have set thee to be light to the Gentiles. – Acts xiii. And God made two great lights. – Gen. i.
  6. The illuminated part of a picture; the part which lies open to the luminary by which the piece is supposed to be enlightened, and painted in vivid colors; opposed to shade.
  7. Illumination of mind; instruction; knowledge. I opened Ariosto in Italian, and the very first two lines gave me light to all I could desire. – Dryden. Light, understanding and wisdom … was found in him. – Dan. v.
  8. Means of knowing. By using such lights as we have, we may arrive at probability, if not at certainty.
  9. Open view; a visible state; a state of being seen by the eye, or perceived, understood or known. Further researches will doubtless bring to light properties of matter yet unknown.
  10. Public view or notice. Why am I ask'd what next shall see the light? – Pope.
  11. Explanation; illustration; means of understanding. One part of Scripture throws light on another.
  12. Point of view; situation to be seen or viewed; a use of the word taken from painting. It is useful to exhibit a subject in a variety of lights. Let every thought he presented in a strong light. In whatever light we view this event, it must be considered an evil.
  13. A window; a place that admits light to enter. – 1 Kings vii.
  14. A pane of glass; as, a window with twelve lights.
  15. In Scripture, God, the source of knowledge. God, is light. – 1 John i.
  16. Christ. That was the true light, that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. – John i.
  17. Joy; comfort; felicity. Light is sowed for the righteous. – Ps. xcvii.
  18. Saving knowledge. It is because there is no light in them. – Isa. viii.
  19. Prosperity; happiness. Then shall thy light break forth as the morning. – Isa. lviii.
  20. Support; comfort; deliverance. – Mic. vii.
  21. The Gospel. – Matth. iv.
  22. The understanding or judgment. – Matth. vi.
  23. The gifts and graces of Christians. Matth. v.
  24. A moral instructor, as John the Baptist. – John v.
  25. A true christian, a person enlightened. – Eph. v.
  26. A good king, the guide of his people. – Sam. xxi. The light of the countenance, favor; smiles. – Ps. iv. To stand on one's own light, to be the means of preventing good, or frustrating one's own purposes. To come to light, to be detected; to be discovered or found.

LIGHT, v.i. [lite; Sax. lihtan, alihtan, gelihtan, to light or, kindle, to lighten or alleviate, and to alight; hlihtan, to alight; D. lichten, to shine; ligten, to heave or lift; G. lichten, to weigh, to lighten.]

  1. To fall on; to come to by chance; to happen to find; with on. A weaker man may sometimes light on notions which had escaped a wiser. – Watts.
  2. To fall on; to strike. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. Rev. vii.
  3. To descend, as from a horse or carriage; with down, off, or from. He lighted down from his chariot. 2 Kings v. She lighted off the camel. Gen. xxiv.
  4. To settle; to rest; to stoop from flight. The bee lights on this flower and that.

LIGHT, v.t. [lite.]

  1. To kindle; to inflame; to set fire to; as, to light a candle or lamp; sometimes with up; as, to light up an inextinguishable flame. We often hear lit used for lighted, as, he lit a candle; but this is inelegant.
  2. To give light to. Ah hopeless, lasting flames! I like those that burn / To light the dead. – Pope.
  3. To illuminate; to fill or spread over with light; as, to light a room; to light the streets of a city.
  4. To lighten; to ease of a burden. [Not in use. See Lighten.] – Spenser.


Armed with light weapons.


A torch-bearer. – B. Jonson.


An empty headed person. – Martin.