1. With little weight; with little force; as, to tread lightly; to press lightly.
Yet shall thy grave with rising flowers be drest,
And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast. --Pope.
Him thus intent Ithuriel with his spear
Touched lightly. --Milton.
2. Swiftly; nimbly; with agility.
So mikle was that barge, it might not lightly sail. --R. of Brunne.
Watch what thou seest and lightly bring me word. --Tennyson.
3. Without deep impression.
The soft ideas of the cheerful note,
Lightly received, were easily forgot. --Prior.
4. In a small degree; slightly; not severely.
At the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun . . . and afterward did more grievously afflict her. --Is. ix. 1.
5. With little effort or difficulty; easily; readily.
That lightly come, shall lightly go. --Old Proverb.
They come lightly by the malt, and need not spare it. --Sir W. Scott.
6. Without reason, or for reasons of little weight.
Flatter not the rich, neither do thou willingly or lightly appear before great personages. --Jer. Taylor.
7. Commonly; usually. [Obs.]
The great thieves of a state are lightly the officers of the crown. --B. Jonson.
8. Without dejection; cheerfully. “Seeming to bear it lightly.”
9. Without heed or care; with levity; gayly; airily.
Matrimony . . . is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly. --Book of Common Prayer [Eng. Ed.].
10. Not chastely; wantonly.
adv 1: without good reason; "one cannot say such things lightly"
2: with few burdens; "experienced travellers travel light"
3: with little weight or force; "she kissed him lightly on the
forehead" [syn: softly, gently]
4: indulging with temperance; "we eat lightly in the morning"
5: with indifference or without dejection; "he took it lightly"
6: in a small quantity or extent; "spread the margarine thinly
over the meat"; "apply paint lightly" [syn: thinly]
7: to a slight degree; "her speech is only lightly accented"