27 Idioms for Light


Idioms are phrases or expressions that have a different meaning from the literal words used. They add color and depth to our language, allowing us to express ideas in unique ways.

In this article, we’ll explore a variety of idioms related to the concept of “light.” These idioms can be quite illuminating (pun intended) once you understand their true meanings and how to use them.

idioms for light

What is an idiom for light?

An idiom for light is a phrase or saying that uses the word “light” in a non-literal way to convey a specific meaning or idea.

These idioms often relate to brightness, illumination, or weightlessness. Let’s delve into each of these idioms, providing their meanings and using them in sentences to help you grasp their nuances.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

English Language Level Placement Test – (TEFL)

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1 / 20

What is a simile?

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Identify the simile in the following sentence: “She swims like a fish.”

3 / 20

What is a metaphor?

4 / 20

Which of the following is a metaphor?

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What is an idiom?

6 / 20

What does the idiom “break the ice” mean?

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What is an adjective?

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Choose the adjective in the following sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

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What is an abbreviation?

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What does the abbreviation “e.g.” stand for?

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What is a verb?

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Identify the verb in the following sentence: “The cat sleeps on the sofa.”

13 / 20

“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is an example of:

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Which of the following is an adjective?

15 / 20

The abbreviation “NASA” stands for:

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Choose the metaphor in the following sentence: “Time is a thief.”

17 / 20

What does the idiom “hit the books” mean?

18 / 20

Which of the following sentences contains a simile?

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“LOL” is an abbreviation for:

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Identify the verb in this sentence: “They whispered secrets into the night.”

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IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
Light at the end of the tunnelA sign of hope in a difficult situationAfter months of hard work, I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel when I received my college acceptance letter.
As light as a featherExtremely lightweight or easy to carryWith his backpack packed only with essentials, it felt as light as a feather on his shoulders.
A beacon of lightA source of guidance or hope in challenging timesThe community center became a beacon of light for those seeking help during the natural disaster.
In the limelightBeing the center of attention or public scrutinyEver since her viral video, she has been in the limelight, constantly interviewed by the media.
Light as a breezeExtremely easy or effortlessSolving the math problem was as light as a breeze for the brilliant student.
Light as airFeeling weightless or without burdenAs she danced gracefully across the stage, she felt as light as air.
Light as a whistleCompletely innocent or free from guiltHe passed the lie detector test with ease, proving he was as light as a whistle regarding the theft.
Go over like a lead balloonTo fail miserably or not be well-receivedHis attempt at stand-up comedy went over like a lead balloon, as the audience remained unamused.
Burn the midnight oilTo work late into the night or put in extra effortIn order to meet the deadline, she had to burn the midnight oil and complete the report.
See the light at the end of the tunnelTo foresee a positive outcome in the future, especially after facing challengesDespite the setbacks, we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel for our business expansion.
Out like a lightFalling asleep quickly and deeplyAfter a long day of hiking, he was out like a light as soon as he hit the bed.
In a good lightTo present someone or something in a favorable mannerThe documentary portrayed the charity organization in a good light, highlighting their positive impact.
Green lightApproval or permission to proceed with somethingThe manager gave the project the green light, allowing it to move forward.
White as a sheetExtremely pale due to fear, shock, or illnessAfter hearing the unexpected news, her face turned as white as a sheet.
A ray of hopeA small sign of optimism or a reason to believe in a better outcomeThe discovery of a potential cure was seen as a ray of hope for the disease’s victims.
Light years awayVery distant or far removed from a particular point in time or spaceTheir ideas about fashion were light years away from the current trends.
Paint in a bad lightTo portray something or someone negativelyThe news report painted the politician in a bad light, highlighting their past controversies.
A light touchA gentle or delicate approach to handling a situationDealing with sensitive issues requires a light touch and empathy.
All sweetness and lightActing overly nice or agreeable, often with a hidden agendaBeware of people who seem all sweetness and light; they may have ulterior motives.
In a new lightTo view something or someone differently, often with a changed perspectiveThe seminar presented the topic in a new light, challenging our previous beliefs.
Cast in a different lightTo perceive or present something in a changed or alternative mannerThe investigation cast the suspect in a different light, raising doubts about their guilt.
Shine a light on somethingTo bring attention to or reveal hidden information about a topic or issueThe investigative journalist aimed to shine a light on corruption within the government.
A flash in the panSomething or someone with a brief moment of success or significance that fades quicklyHis singing career was a flash in the pan, as he was soon forgotten by the public.
In the cold light of dayWith clear and objective judgment, often after emotions have settledWhen he looked at the situation in the cold light of day, he realized his anger had clouded his judgment.
A light bulb momentA sudden and brilliant idea or realizationDuring the brainstorming session, she had a light bulb moment that solved the company’s marketing dilemma.
Carry a torch for someoneTo have romantic feelings or an ongoing affection for someoneEven after all these years, he still secretly carried a torch for his high school sweetheart.
Light at the end of the rainbowSomething that is very rare or almost impossible to findFinding a job that combines your passion and pays well is like trying to find the light at the end of the rainbow.

Light is like a beacon of hope, cutting through the darkness and guiding us toward clarity and understanding. For more comparisons to describe light, you can check this link: Similes for light. And for a variety of metaphors related to light, you can explore this link: Metaphors for light.

Idioms for Light

1. Light at the end of the tunnel

Meaning: A sign of hope or relief in a difficult situation, indicating that things are improving.

In a Sentence: After months of hard work, I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel when I received my college acceptance letter.

2. As light as a feather

Meaning: Extremely lightweight or easy to carry.

In a Sentence: With his backpack packed only with essentials, it felt as light as a feather on his shoulders.

3. A beacon of light

Meaning: A source of guidance or hope in challenging times.

In a Sentence: The community center became a beacon of light for those seeking help during the natural disaster.

4. In the limelight

Meaning: Being the center of attention or public scrutiny.

In a Sentence: Ever since her viral video, she has been in the limelight, constantly interviewed by the media.

5. Light as a breeze

Meaning: Extremely easy or effortless.

In a Sentence: Solving the math problem was as light as a breeze for the brilliant student.

6. Light as air

Meaning: Feeling weightless or without burden.

In a Sentence: As she danced gracefully across the stage, she felt as light as air.

7. Light as a whistle

Meaning: Completely innocent or free from guilt.

In a Sentence: He passed the lie detector test with ease, proving he was as light as a whistle regarding the theft.

8. Go over like a lead balloon

Meaning: To fail miserably or not be well-received.

In a Sentence: His attempt at stand-up comedy went over like a lead balloon, as the audience remained unamused.

9. Burn the midnight oil

Meaning: To work late into the night or put in extra effort to accomplish a task.

In a Sentence: In order to meet the deadline, she had to burn the midnight oil and complete the report.

10. See the light at the end of the tunnel

Meaning: To foresee a positive outcome in the future, especially after facing challenges.

In a Sentence: Despite the setbacks, we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel for our business expansion.

11. Out like a light

Meaning: Falling asleep quickly and deeply.

In a Sentence: After a long day of hiking, he was out like a light as soon as he hit the bed.

12. In a good light

Meaning: To present someone or something in a favorable manner.

In a Sentence: The documentary portrayed the charity organization in a good light, highlighting their positive impact.

13. Green light

Meaning: Approval or permission to proceed with something.

In a Sentence: The manager gave the project the green light, allowing it to move forward.

14. White as a sheet

Meaning: Extremely pale due to fear, shock, or illness.

In a Sentence: After hearing the unexpected news, her face turned as white as a sheet.

15. A ray of hope

Meaning: A small sign of optimism or a reason to believe in a better outcome.

In a Sentence: The discovery of a potential cure was seen as a ray of hope for the disease’s victims.

16. Light years away

Meaning: Very distant or far removed from a particular point in time or space.

In a Sentence: Their ideas about fashion were light years away from the current trends.

17. Paint in a bad light

Meaning: To portray something or someone negatively.

In a Sentence: The news report painted the politician in a bad light, highlighting their past controversies.

18. A light touch

Meaning: A gentle or delicate approach to handling a situation.

In a Sentence: Dealing with sensitive issues requires a light touch and empathy.

19. All sweetness and light

Meaning: Acting overly nice or agreeable, often with a hidden agenda.

In a Sentence: Beware of people who seem all sweetness and light; they may have ulterior motives.

20. In a new light

Meaning: To view something or someone differently, often with a changed perspective.

In a Sentence: The seminar presented the topic in a new light, challenging our previous beliefs.

21. Cast in a different light

Meaning: To perceive or present something in a changed or alternative manner.

In a Sentence: The investigation cast the suspect in a different light, raising doubts about their guilt.

22. Shine a light on something

Meaning: To bring attention to or reveal hidden information about a topic or issue.

In a Sentence: The investigative journalist aimed to shine a light on corruption within the government.

23. A flash in the pan

Meaning: Something or someone with a brief moment of success or significance that fades quickly.

In a Sentence: His singing career was a flash in the pan, as he was soon forgotten by the public.

24. In the cold light of day

Meaning: With clear and objective judgment, often after emotions have settled.

In a Sentence: When he looked at the situation in the cold light of day, he realized his anger had clouded his judgment.

25. A light bulb moment

Meaning: A sudden and brilliant idea or realization.

In a Sentence: During the brainstorming session, she had a light bulb moment that solved the company’s marketing dilemma.

26. Carry a torch for someone

Meaning: To have romantic feelings or an ongoing affection for someone.

In a Sentence: Even after all these years, he still secretly carried a torch for his high school sweetheart.

27. Light at the end of the rainbow

Meaning: Something that is very rare or almost impossible to find.

In a Sentence: Finding a job that combines your passion and pays well is like trying to find the light at the end of the rainbow.

Quizzes About The Idioms in The Article

Quiz 1:

  1. What does the idiom “In the limelight” mean?
    • a) Extremely easy or effortless
    • b) To fall asleep quickly and deeply
    • c) Being the center of attention or public scrutiny
    • d) To portray something or someone negatively

Quiz 2:

  1. Which idiom means “To work late into the night or put in extra effort”?
    • a) Burn the midnight oil
    • b) A ray of hope
    • c) In a good light
    • d) Light as air

Quiz 3:

  1. What does the expression “Out like a light” refer to?
    • a) A source of guidance or hope in challenging times
    • b) To foresee a positive outcome in the future
    • c) Falling asleep quickly and deeply
    • d) To have romantic feelings for someone

Quiz 4:

  1. If something goes “over like a lead balloon,” what does it mean?
    • a) To fail miserably or not be well-received
    • b) Extremely lightweight or easy to carry
    • c) To portray something or someone negatively
    • d) To work late into the night

Quiz 5:

  1. Which idiom means “To bring attention to or reveal hidden information about a topic or issue”?
    • a) In the cold light of day
    • b) Shine a light on something
    • c) A flash in the pan
    • d) As light as a feather

Quiz 6:

  1. What does the phrase “A beacon of light” signify?
    • a) To present someone or something in a favorable manner
    • b) A small sign of optimism or a reason to believe in a better outcome
    • c) A source of guidance or hope in challenging times
    • d) Extremely pale due to fear, shock, or illness

Quiz 7:

  1. Which idiom means “To have romantic feelings or an ongoing affection for someone”?
    • a) Light as a breeze
    • b) Carry a torch for someone
    • c) Cast in a different light
    • d) In the limelight

Quiz 8:

  1. What is the meaning of “Green light” as an idiom?
    • a) Approval or permission to proceed with something
    • b) Completely innocent or free from guilt
    • c) To perceive or present something in a changed or alternative manner
    • d) Being the center of attention or public scrutiny

Quiz 9:

  1. If someone is described as “Light as air,” what does it mean?
    • a) Feeling weightless or without burden
    • b) To work late into the night or put in extra effort
    • c) Extremely easy or effortless
    • d) A sudden and brilliant idea or realization

Quiz 10:

  1. What does the idiom “In the cold light of day” imply?
    • a) Extremely lightweight or easy to carry
    • b) To fall asleep quickly and deeply
    • c) With clear and objective judgment, often after emotions have settled
    • d) Something that is very rare or almost impossible to find

Feel free to use these quiz questions to test your knowledge of idioms for light or share them with others for fun and learning!

Conclusion

Understanding idioms for light can add sparkle to your language skills. These expressions provide an interesting way to convey thoughts and emotions, so don’t be afraid to incorporate them into your everyday conversations.

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