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Alternative forms[edit]


From light (not heavy, adjective) +‎ weight (noun).


  • (noun): (US) IPA(key): /ˈlaɪt.weɪt/
  • (adjective): (US) IPA(key): /laɪtˈweɪt/
  • (file)


lightweight (plural lightweights)

  1. (combat sports) A particular weight class, or member of such, as prescribed by the rules, between that of the heavier welterweight and the lighter featherweight. See Wikipedia for the specifics of each sport.
  2. (rowing) A particular weight category as prescribed by the rules, separate from an open or heavyweight class.
  3. (weightlifting) A competitive weight division as prescribed by the rules, between the heavier middleweight and the lighter featherweight.
  4. One of little consequence or ability.
  5. A person who cannot handle their drink; one who gets drunk on very little alcohol.
    1. (by extension) A person with low endurance.
  6. A political candidate with little chance of winning



lightweight (comparative more lightweight, superlative most lightweight)

  1. Lacking in earnestness, ability, or profundity
  2. Having less than average weight
    • 2021 May 19, David Clough, “Swiss precision meets UK growth”, in RAIL, number 931, page 57:
      For example, lightweight construction and Jacobs bogies save weight, and a lighter train uses less power.
  3. Lacking in strength
    • 2011 September 13, Sam Lyon, “Borussia Dortmund 1 - 1 Arsenal”, in BBC[1]:
      With the Gunners far too lightweight in midfield, Mikel Arteta dropped back into a deeper-lying role. This freed Yossi Benayoun to go further forward, a move that helped forge a rare Arsenal chance on 30 minutes when the Israeli released Van Persie, only for the Dutchman's snap-shot to be tipped around the post.
  4. (computing) Having a small footprint or performance impact