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From Old English sliht, from Proto-Germanic *slihtaz.



slight (comparative slighter, superlative slightest)

  1. Small, weak, or gentle; not decidedly marked; not forcible; inconsiderable; unimportant; insignificant; not severe.
    a slight (i.e. feeble) effort;  a slight (i.e. not deep) impression;  a slight (i.e. not convincing) argument;  a slight (i.e. not thorough) examination;  a slight (i.e. not severe) pain
    • Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
      Slight is the subject, but not so the praise.
    • John Locke (1632-1705)
      Some firmly embrace doctrines upon slight grounds.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 2, A Cuckoo in the Nest[1]:
      Mother very rightly resented the slightest hint of condescension. She considered that the exclusiveness of Peter's circle was due not to its distinction, but to the fact that it was an inner Babylon of prodigality and whoredom, [] .
  2. Not stout or heavy; slender.
    a slight but graceful woman
    • Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)
      his own figure, which was formerly so slight
  3. (obsolete) Foolish; silly; weak in intellect.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Hudibras to this entry?)


Derived terms[edit]



slight (third-person singular simple present slights, present participle slighting, simple past and past participle slighted)

  1. To treat as slight or not worthy of attention, to make light of.
    • Cowper
      the wretch who slights the bounty of the skies
  2. To treat with disdain or neglect.
  3. To act negligently or carelessly.
  4. (military, of a fortification) To render no longer defensible by full or partial demolition.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Clarendon to this entry?)
  5. To make even or level.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Hexham to this entry?)
  6. To throw heedlessly.
    • Shakespeare
      The rogue slighted me into the river.


Derived terms[edit]



Wikipedia has an article on:


slight (plural slights)

  1. The act of slighting; a deliberate act of neglect or discourtesy.
    • Benjamin Franklin
      Never use a slighting expression to her, even in jest; for slights in jest, after frequent bandyings, are apt to end in angry earnest.
  2. Sleight.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)


Derived terms[edit]


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.