1. with little weight, force, intensity, etc.; gently: to press lightly on a door bell.
  2. to only a small amount or degree; slightly: lightly fried eggs.
  3. nimbly; quickly: to leap lightly aside.
  4. with a lack of concern; indifferently; slightly: to think lightly of one’s achievements.
  5. cheerfully; without complaining: to take bad news lightly.
  6. without due consideration or reason (often used negatively): an offer not to be refused lightly.
  7. easily; without trouble or effort: Lightly come, lightly go.
  8. frivolously; flippantly: to behave lightly.
  9. airily; buoyantly: flags floating lightly.

adv.Old English leohtlice “so as not to be heavy” (of material things, but also of sleep, blows, etc.); cognate with Old Frisian lichtelik, Old High German lihtlihho, German leichtlich, Old Norse lettlega (see light (adj.1)). Meaning “frivolously, indifferently” is from early 13c. see get off (lightly); once over lightly.

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