Word of the Day



the light outside that you see during the day

a. the period of time during the day when it is light

Origin and usage

The origin of the word daylight combines ‘day’, from the Old English word ‘dæg’ of Germanic origin, and ‘light’ from the Old English ‘lēoht’.


Throughout the year, the position of the earth in relation to the sun can change the amount of daylight that each hemisphere receives depending on the earth’s path around the sun and the tilt of the planet on its axis. While each day is made up of about 24 hours, the specific daylight hours when a certain area is illuminated by light from the sun can be highly variable. The longest day of the year is one with the longest daylight period and occurs in the northern hemisphere on the summer solstice in June. Due to the tilt of the earth, this same day is the shortest day of the year for the southern hemisphere.

In the northern hemisphere, many places use a practice known as Daylight Savings Time. Countries that use this generally put all the clocks in that region forward by one hour in the springtime and backwards in autumn as a means of extending the daylight hours of conventional waking time in the summer months.

The word can also be used informally, and if something is said to be ‘as clear as daylight’, this usually means that it is obvious and beyond a doubt.


“Politics is like football; if you see daylight, go through the hole.”

(John F. Kennedy)

“Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.”

(Joseph Addison)


sunlight, sunshine

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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Macmillan Dictionary

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