Spark vs Light - What's the difference?

spark | light |

As nouns the difference between spark and light

is that spark is a small particle of glowing matter, either molten or on fire or spark can be a gallant, a foppish young man while light is (uncountable) the natural medium emanating from the sun and other very hot sources (now recognised as electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength of 400-750 nm), within which vision is possible or light can be (curling) a stone that is not thrown hard enough.

As verbs the difference between spark and light

is that spark is to trigger, kindle into activity (an argument, etc) or spark can be to woo, court while light is to start (a fire) or light can be (nautical) to unload a ship, or to jettison material to make it lighter or light can be to find by chance.

As an adjective light is

having light or light can be of low weight; not heavy.

As an adverb light is

carrying little.



(wikipedia spark)

Etymology 1

From Middle English sparke, sperke, from Old English spearca, from (etyl) ).


(en noun)
  • A small particle of glowing matter, either molten or on fire.
  • A short or small burst of electrical discharge.
  • A small, shining body, or transient light; a sparkle.
  • (figuratively) A small amount of something, such as an idea, that has the potential to become something greater, just as a spark can start a fire.
  • * Shakespeare
  • if any spark of life be yet remaining
  • * John Locke
  • We have here and there a little clear light, some sparks of bright knowledge .
  • * 2013 , Phil McNulty, "[]", BBC Sport , 1 September 2013:
  • Everton's Marouane Fellaini looks one certain arrival but Moyes, who also saw United held to a draw by Chelsea at Old Trafford on Monday, needs even more of a spark in a midfield that looked laboured by this team's standards.
  • (in plural'' sparks ''but treated as a singular ) A ship's radio operator.
  • (UK, slang) An electrician.
  • Synonyms
    * gnast * beginnings, germ, glimmer
    Derived terms
    * sparkle * bright spark * spark arrester * spark coil * spark gap * spark knock * spark of life * spark plug * spark transmitter * sparks fly


    (en verb)
  • To trigger, kindle into activity (an argument, etc).
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2012 , date=May 5 , author=Phil McNulty , title=Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool , work=BBC Sport citation , page= , passage=The introduction of substitute Andy Carroll sparked Liverpool into life and he pulled a goal back just after the hour - and thought he had equalised as Kenny Dalglish's side laid siege to Chelsea's goal in the closing stages.}}
  • To give off a spark or sparks.
  • Derived terms
    * spark off * sparkle

    Etymology 2

    probably Scandinavian, akin to (etyl) sparkr 'sprightly'


    (en noun)
  • A gallant, a foppish young man.
  • * Prior
  • The finest sparks and cleanest beaux.
  • A beau, lover.
  • Verb

    (en verb)
  • To woo, court.
  • Derived terms

    * sparkish * sparker




    * ----



    Alternative forms

    * lite (informal); lyght, lyghte (obsolete) * (l) (Scotland)

    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) (m), (m), (m), from (etyl) .


    (wikipedia light) (en noun)
  • (uncountable) The natural medium emanating from the Sun and other very hot sources (now recognised as electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength of 400-750 nm), within which vision is possible.
  • *
  • , title=(The Celebrity), chapter=5 , passage=Then came a maid with hand-bag and shawls, and after her a tall young lady. She stood for a moment holding her skirt above the grimy steps,
  • * {{quote-book, year=1963, author=(Margery Allingham), title=(The China Governess)
  • , chapter=3 citation , passage=Here the stripped panelling was warmly gold and the pictures, mostly of the English school, were mellow and gentle in the afternoon light .}}
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-20, volume=408, issue=8845, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Out of the gloom , passage=[Rural solar plant] schemes are of little help to industry or other heavy users of electricity. Nor is solar power yet as cheap as the grid. For all that, the rapid arrival of electric light' to Indian villages is long overdue. When the national grid suffers its next huge outage, as it did in July 2012 when hundreds of millions were left in the dark, look for specks of ' light in the villages.}}
  • A source of illumination.
  • * , chapter=5
  • , title= The Mirror and the Lamp , passage=He was thinking; but the glory of the song, the swell from the great organ, the clustered lights , […], the height and vastness of this noble fane, its antiquity and its strength—all these things seemed to have their part as causes of the thrilling emotion that accompanied his thoughts.}}
  • Spiritual or mental illumination; enlightenment, useful information.
  • * Shakespeare
  • He shall never know / That I had any light of this from thee.
  • Facts; pieces of information; ideas, concepts.
  • * , Book I, New York 2001, page 166:
  • Now these notions are twofold, actions or habits […], which are durable lights and notions, which we may use when we will.
  • A notable person within a specific field or discipline.
  • * Tennyson
  • Joan of Arc, a light of ancient France
  • (painting) The manner in which the light strikes a picture; that part of a picture which represents those objects upon which the light is supposed to fall; the more illuminated part of a landscape or other scene; opposed to shade .
  • A point of view, or aspect from which a concept, person or thing is regarded.
  • * South
  • Frequent consideration of a thing shows it in its several lights and various ways of appearance.
  • A flame or something used to create fire.
  • A firework made by filling a case with a substance which burns brilliantly with a white or coloured flame.
  • a Bengal light
  • A window, or space for a window in architecture.
  • The series of squares reserved for the answer to a crossword clue.
  • (informal) A cross-light in a double acrostic or triple acrostic.
  • Open view; a visible state or condition; public observation; publicity.
  • * Shakespeare
  • The duke yet would have dark deeds darkly answered; he would never bring them to light .
  • The power of perception by vision.
  • * Bible, Psalms xxxviii. 10
  • My strength faileth me; as for the light of my eyes, it also is gone from me.
  • The brightness of the eye or eyes.
  • * Shakespeare
  • He seemed to find his way without his eyes; / For out o'door he went without their helps, / And, to the last, bended their light on me.
  • A traffic light, or, by extension, an intersection controlled by one.
  • Synonyms
    * (electromagnetic wave perceived by the eye) visible light
    Derived terms
    * ancient lights * black light * booklight * bring to light * come to light * fanlight * footlight * gaslight * half-light * headlight * hide one's light under a bushel * lamplight * light at the end of the tunnel * light box, lightbox * light bucket * light globe * Light of the World * lightbulb * lighthouse * ! * moonlight * nightlight * searchlight * see the light * skylight * spotlight * strike a light * sunlight * twilight * Very light * white light

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) (m), (m), from (etyl) .


  • To start (a fire).
  • We lit the fire to get some heat.
  • To set fire to; to set burning; to kindle.
  • She lit her last match.
  • * Hakewill
  • if a thousand candles be all lighted from one
  • * Addison
  • Absence might cure it, or a second mistress / Light up another flame, and put out this.
  • To illuminate.
  • I used my torch to light the way home through the woods in the night.
  • * F. Harrison
  • One hundred years ago, to have lit' this theatre as brilliantly as it is now ' lighted would have cost, I suppose, fifty pounds.
  • * Dryden
  • The Sun has set, and Vesper, to supply / His absent beams, has lighted up the sky.
  • To become ignited; to take fire.
  • This soggy match will not light .
  • To attend or conduct with a light; to show the way to by means of a light.
  • * Landor
  • His bishops lead him forth, and light him on.
    * ignite, kindle, conflagrate * (illuminate) illuminate, light up
    * extinguish, put out, quench
    Derived terms
    * light someone's fire * light up * highlight

    Etymology 3

    From (etyl) (m), (m), (m), from (etyl) . Cognate with (etyl) (m), (etyl) (m).


  • Having light.
  • Pale in colour.
  • *
  • , title= Mr. Pratt's Patients, chapter=1 , passage='Twas early June, the new grass was flourishing everywheres, the posies in the yard—peonies and such—in full bloom, the Sun was shining, and the water of the bay was blue, with light green streaks where the shoal showed.}}
  • (of coffee) Served with extra milk or cream.
  • Synonyms
    * (having light) bright * (pale in colour) pale * : white, with milk, with cream
    Derived terms
    * light-haired * light-skinned

    Etymology 4

    From (etyl) .


  • Of low weight; not heavy.
  • My bag was much lighter once I had dropped off the books.
  • * Addison
  • These weights did not exert their natural gravity insomuch that I could not guess which was light or heavy whilst I held them in my hand.
  • Lightly-built; designed for speed or small loads.
  • We took a light aircraft down to the city.
  • (senseid)Gentle; having little force or momentum.
  • This artist clearly had a light , flowing touch.
  • Easy to endure or perform.
  • light duties around the house
  • * Dryden
  • Light sufferings give us leisure to complain.
  • Low in fat, calories, alcohol, salt, etc.
  • This light beer still gets you drunk if you have enough of it.
  • Unimportant, trivial, having little value or significance.
  • I made some light comment, and we moved on.
  • travelling with no carriages, wagons attached
  • (obsolete) Unchaste, wanton.
  • * 1590 , Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene , I.i:
  • Long after lay he musing at her mood, / Much grieu'd to thinke that gentle Dame so light , / For whose defence he was to shed his blood.
  • * Shakespeare
  • So do not you; for you are a light girl.
  • * Shakespeare
  • A light wife doth make a heavy husband.
  • Not heavily armed; armed with light weapons.
  • light''' troops; a troop of '''light horse
  • Not encumbered; unembarrassed; clear of impediments; hence, active; nimble; swift.
  • * Francis Bacon
  • Unmarried men are best friends, best masters but not always best subjects, for they are light to run away.
  • (dated) Easily influenced by trifling considerations; unsteady; unsettled; volatile.
  • a light''', vain person; a '''light mind
  • * Tillotson
  • There is no greater argument of a light and inconsiderate person than profanely to scoff at religion.
  • Indulging in, or inclined to, levity; lacking dignity or solemnity; frivolous; airy.
  • * Shakespeare
  • Seneca can not be too heavy, nor Plautus too light .
  • * Hawthorne
  • specimens of New England humour laboriously light and lamentably mirthful
  • Not quite sound or normal; somewhat impaired or deranged; dizzy; giddy.
  • * Shakespeare
  • Are his wits safe? Is he not light of brain?
  • Not of the legal, standard, or usual weight; clipped; diminished.
  • light coin
    * (of low weight) * (lightly-built) lightweight * (having little force or momentum) delicate, gentle, soft * lite, lo-cal (low in calories), low-alcohol (low in alcohol) * (having little value or significance) inconsequential, trivial, unimportant
    * (of low weight) heavy, weighty * (lightly-built) cumbersome, heavyweight, massive * (having little force or momentum) forceful, heavy, strong * calorific (high in calories), fatty (high in fat), strong (high in alcohol) * (having little value or significance) crucial, important, weighty
    Derived terms
    * light as a feather * lightness


  • Carrying little.
  • I prefer to travel light.


    (en noun)
  • (curling) A stone that is not thrown hard enough.
  • Verb

    (en verb)
  • (nautical) To unload a ship, or to jettison material to make it lighter
  • To lighten; to ease of a burden; to take off.
  • * Spenser
  • His mailèd habergeon she did undight, / And from his head his heavy burgonet did light .
    Derived terms
    * lighter

    Etymology 5



  • To find by chance.
  • I lit upon a rare book in a second-hand bookseller's.
  • (archaic) To alight.
  • She fell out of the window but luckily lit on her feet.
    * (find by chance) chance upon, come upon, find, happen upon, hit upon * (alight) alight, land
    Derived terms
    * light into * light out