Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



Aug 13, 2019
This week’s theme
Words from space travel

This week’s words
moon shot
light-year
rocket science
lift-off
space cadet

light-year
Milky Way galaxy, our home in space, about 200,000 light years across
Illustration: Nick Risinger / Wikimedia

Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

light-year

PRONUNCIATION:
(LYT yeer)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A unit of length equal to the distance traveled by light in one year in a vacuum, about 5.88 trillion miles or 9.46 trillion km.
2. Very far, in distance or time.

ETYMOLOGY:
From light, from Old English leoht + year, from Old English gear. Earliest documented use: 1888.

NOTES:
A light-year is a unit of distance -- there’s no such unit as a heavy-year (nor is there a dark-year). To get a light-year’s worth of frequent-flier miles you’d need to travel between New York and Moscow only a little over a billion times.

USAGE:
“Baseball under Manfred’s leadership moved a light-year ahead of the NFL when it came to sensitivity toward people of color by setting an example in its sport about what would no longer be acceptable in branding.”
Kevin B. Blackistone; MLB’s Manfred Led the Way. Will the NFL Choose to Follow?; The Washington Post; Feb 12, 2019.

See more usage examples of light-year in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The Supreme Ethical Rule: Act so as to elicit the best in others and thereby in thyself. -Felix Adler, professor, lecturer, and reformer (13 Aug 1851-1933)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere

Donate

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2019 Wordsmith