light up

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

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Etymology 1[edit]

Phrasal verb from light (to make bright, ignite, verb) +‎ up (to a higher degree, adverb).

Verb[edit]

light up (third-person singular simple present lights up, present participle lighting up, simple past and past participle lit up)

  1. (transitive) To illuminate, to bring light to something, to brighten.
    • 1713, Joseph Addison, Cato, published 1712, [Act 1, scene 1]:
      Absence might cure it, or a second mistress / Light up another flame, and put out this.
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, Ulysses, London: The Egoist Press, published October 1922, OCLC 2297483:
      Episode 12, The Cyclops:
      The deafening claps of thunder and the dazzling flashes of lightning which lit up the ghastly scene testified that the artillery of heaven had lent its supernatural pomp to the already gruesome spectacle.
    • 2009, President Nixon's Pilot, Jim Bell, in The Propinquity Effect →ISBN:
      When we cranked up the engine, the fire warning light lit up.
    • 2020 April 22, “Network News: Glenfinnan turns blue to honour NHS workers”, in Rail, page 9:
      The illumination was organised by Martin Whyte from events company The Stage Group, fulfilling a long-held ambition of his to light up the 21-arch Scottish structure.
  2. (intransitive) To show an increase in activity or a brightening of mood.
    • 1956 [1880], Johanna Spyri, Heidi, translation of original by Eileen Hall, page 84:
      Clara's eyes lit up at this highly unusual occurrence.
    He saw Mary and his face lit up.
  3. (intransitive) To light a cigarette, pipe, etc.
    Smoking in this building is not allowed, so I always step outside to light up.
  4. (transitive) To make happy.
    • 2001, Ash, Shining Light
      You are a shining light, and you light up my life.
    • 2010, WLTX.com, Young Girl Continues Bike Giveaway Tradition, 25 Nov 2010
      "It lights me up, make me happy. Sometimes I go home, go in my room and cry with joy,"said Hudson smiling
  5. (transitive, slang) To open fire on a target or group of targets.
  6. (chiefly US, transitive, slang) To shock (someone) with a stun gun.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Phrasal verb from light (to make less heavy, verb) +‎ up (to a higher degree, adverb).

Verb[edit]

light up (third-person singular simple present lights up, present participle lighting up, simple past and past participle lighted up)

  1. (transitive, nautical) To loosen, slacken, or ease off.
    to light up the jib-sheets

References[edit]

  • The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1914

Anagrams[edit]