The DICT Development Group

Search for:
Search type:

Database copyright information
Server information

3 definitions found
 for Ancient lights
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Light \Light\ (l[imac]t), n. [OE. light, liht, AS. le['i]ht;
     akin to OS. lioht, D. & G. licht, OHG. lioht, Goth.
     liuha[thorn], Icel. lj[=o]s, L. lux light, lucere to shine,
     Gr. leyko`s white, Skr. ruc to shine. [root]122. Cf. Lucid,
     Lunar, Luminous, Lynx.]
     1. That agent, force, or action in nature by the operation of
        which upon the organs of sight, objects are rendered
        visible or luminous.
        [1913 Webster]
     Note: Light was regarded formerly as consisting of material
           particles, or corpuscules, sent off in all directions
           from luminous bodies, and traversing space, in right
           lines, with the known velocity of about 186,300 miles
           per second; but it is now generally understood to
           consist, not in any actual transmission of particles or
           substance, but in the propagation of vibrations or
           undulations in a subtile, elastic medium, or ether,
           assumed to pervade all space, and to be thus set in
           vibratory motion by the action of luminous bodies, as
           the atmosphere is by sonorous bodies. This view of the
           nature of light is known as the undulatory or wave
           theory; the other, advocated by Newton (but long since
           abandoned), as the corpuscular, emission, or Newtonian
           theory. A more recent theory makes light to consist in
           electrical oscillations, and is known as the
           electro-magnetic theory of light.
           [1913 Webster]
     2. That which furnishes, or is a source of, light, as the
        sun, a star, a candle, a lighthouse, etc.
        [1913 Webster]
              Then he called for a light, and sprang in. --Acts
                                                    xvi. 29.
        [1913 Webster]
              And God made two great lights; the greater light to
              rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the
              night.                                --Gen. i. 16.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. The time during which the light of the sun is visible;
        day; especially, the dawn of day.
        [1913 Webster]
              The murderer, rising with the light, killeth the
              poor and needy.                       --Job xxiv.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. The brightness of the eye or eyes.
        [1913 Webster]
              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. --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
     5. The medium through which light is admitted, as a window,
        or window pane; a skylight; in architecture, one of the
        compartments of a window made by a mullion or mullions.
        [1913 Webster]
              There were windows in three rows, and light was
              against light in three ranks.         --I Kings
        [1913 Webster]
     6. Life; existence.
        [1913 Webster]
              O, spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born !
        [1913 Webster]
     7. Open view; a visible state or condition; public
        observation; publicity.
        [1913 Webster]
              The duke yet would have dark deeds darkly answered;
              he would never bring them to light.   --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
     8. The power of perception by vision.
        [1913 Webster]
              My strength faileth me; as for the light of my eyes,
              it also is gone from me.              --Ps. xxxviii.
        [1913 Webster]
     9. That which illumines or makes clear to the mind; mental or
        spiritual illumination; enlightenment; knowledge;
        [1913 Webster]
              He shall never know
              That I had any light of this from thee. --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
     10. Prosperity; happiness; joy; felicity.
         [1913 Webster]
               Then shall thy light break forth as the morning,
               and thy health shall spring forth speedily. --Is.
                                                    lviii. 8.
         [1913 Webster]
     11. (Paint.) The manner in which the light strikes upon 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. Cf. Chiaroscuro.
         [1913 Webster]
     12. Appearance due to the particular facts and circumstances
         presented to view; point of view; as, to state things
         fairly and put them in the right light.
         [1913 Webster]
               Frequent consideration of a thing . . . shows it in
               its several lights and various ways of appearance.
         [1913 Webster]
     13. One who is conspicuous or noteworthy; a model or example;
         as, the lights of the age or of antiquity.
         [1913 Webster]
               Joan of Arc,
               A light of ancient France.           --Tennyson.
         [1913 Webster]
     14. (Pyrotech.) A firework made by filling a case with a
         substance which burns brilliantly with a white or colored
         flame; as, a Bengal light.
         [1913 Webster]
     Note: Light is used figuratively to denote that which
           resembles physical light in any respect, as
           illuminating, benefiting, enlightening, or enlivening
           [1913 Webster]
     Ancient lights (Law), Calcium light, Flash light, etc.
        See under Ancient, Calcium, etc.
     Light ball (Mil.), a ball of combustible materials, used to
        afford light; -- sometimes made so as to be fired from a
        cannon or mortar, or to be carried up by a rocket.
     Light barrel (Mil.), an empty power barrel pierced with
        holes and filled with shavings soaked in pitch, used to
        light up a ditch or a breach.
     Light dues (Com.), tolls levied on ships navigating certain
        waters, for the maintenance of lighthouses.
     Light iron, a candlestick. [Obs.]
     Light keeper, a person appointed to take care of a
        lighthouse or light-ship.
     Light money, charges laid by government on shipping
        entering a port, for the maintenance of lighthouses and
     The light of the countenance, favor; kindness; smiles.
        [1913 Webster]
              Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon
              us.                                   --Ps. iv. 6.
     Northern lights. See Aurora borealis, under Aurora.
     To bring to light, to cause to be disclosed.
     To come to light, to be disclosed.
     To see the light, to come into the light; hence, to come
        into the world or into public notice; as, his book never
        saw the light.
     To stand in one's own light, to take a position which is
        injurious to one's own interest.
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Ancient \An"cient\, a. [OE. auncien, F. ancien, LL. antianus,
     fr. L. ante before. See Ante-, pref.]
     1. Old; that happened or existed in former times, usually at
        a great distance of time; belonging to times long past;
        specifically applied to the times before the fall of the
        Roman empire; -- opposed to modern; as, ancient authors,
        literature, history; ancient days.
        [1913 Webster]
              Witness those ancient empires of the earth.
        [1913 Webster]
              Gildas Albanius . . . much ancienter than his
              namesake surnamed the Wise.           --Fuller.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. Old; that has been of long duration; of long standing; of
        great age; as, an ancient forest; an ancient castle. "Our
        ancient bickerings." --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
              Remove not the ancient landmarks, which thy fathers
              have set.                             --Prov. xxii.
        [1913 Webster]
              An ancient man, strangely habited, asked for
              quarters.                             --Scott.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. Known for a long time, or from early times; -- opposed to
        recent or new; as, the ancient continent.
        [1913 Webster]
              A friend, perhaps, or an ancient acquaintance.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. Dignified, like an aged man; magisterial; venerable.
        [1913 Webster]
              He wrought but some few hours of the day, and then
              would he seem very grave and ancient. --Holland.
        [1913 Webster]
     5. Experienced; versed. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
              Though [he] was the youngest brother, yet he was the
              most ancient in the business of the realm.
        [1913 Webster]
     6. Former; sometime. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
              They mourned their ancient leader lost. --Pope.
        [1913 Webster]
     Ancient demesne (Eng. Law), a tenure by which all manors
        belonging to the crown, in the reign of William the
        Conqueror, were held. The numbers, names, etc., of these
        were all entered in a book called Domesday Book.
     Ancient lights (Law), windows and other openings which have
        been enjoined without molestation for more than twenty
        years. In England, and in some of the United States, they
        acquire a prescriptive right.
        [1913 Webster]
     Syn: Old; primitive; pristine; antique; antiquated;
          old-fashioned; obsolete.
     Usage: Ancient, Antiquated, Obsolete, Antique,
            Antic, Old. -- Ancient is opposed to modern, and
            has antiquity; as, an ancient family, ancient
            landmarks, ancient institutions, systems of thought,
            etc. Antiquated describes that which has gone out of
            use or fashion; as, antiquated furniture, antiquated
            laws, rules, etc. Obsolete is commonly used, instead
            of antiquated, in reference to language, customs,
            etc.; as, an obsolete word or phrase, an obsolete
            expression. Antique is applied, in present usage,
            either to that which has come down from the ancients;
            as, an antique cameo, bust, etc.; or to that which is
            made to imitate some ancient work of art; as, an
            antique temple. In the days of Shakespeare, antique
            was often used for ancient; as, "an antique song," "an
            antique Roman;" and hence, from singularity often
            attached to what is ancient, it was used in the sense
            of grotesque; as, "an oak whose antique root peeps
            out; " and hence came our present word antic, denoting
            grotesque or ridiculous. We usually apply both ancient
            and old to things subject to gradual decay. We say, an
            old man, an ancient record; but never, the old stars,
            an old river or mountain. In general, however, ancient
            is opposed to modern, and old to new, fresh, or
            recent. When we speak of a thing that existed
            formerly, which has ceased to exist, we commonly use
            ancient; as, ancient republics, ancient heroes; and
            not old republics, old heroes. But when the thing
            which began or existed in former times is still in
            existence, we use either ancient or old; as, ancient
            statues or paintings, or old statues or paintings;
            ancient authors, or old authors, meaning books.
            [1913 Webster]

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  ANCIENT LIGHTS, estates. Windows which have been opened for twenty years or
  more, and enjoyed without molestation by the owner of the house. 5 Har. &
  John. 477; 12 Mass. R. 157,.220.
       2. It is proposed to consider, 1. How the right of ancient light is
  gained. 2, What amounts to interruption of an ancient light. 3, The remedy
  for obstructing an ancient light.
       3.-1. How the right of opening or keeping a window open is gained. 1.
  By grant. 2. By lapse of time. Formerly it was holden that a party could not
  maintain an action for a nuisance to an ancient light, unless he had gained
  a right to the window by prescription. 1 Leon. 188; Cro. Eliz. 118. But the
  modern doctrine is, that upon proof of an adverse enjoyment of light; for
  twenty years or upwards, unexplained, a jury may be directed to presume a
  right by grant, or otherwise. 2 Saund. 176, a; 12 Mass. 159; 1 Esp. R. 148.
  See also 1 Bos. & Pull. 400.; 3 East, 299; Phil. Ev. 126; 11 East, 372; Esp.
  Dig. 636. But if the window was opened during the seisin of a mere tenant
  for life, or a tenancy for years, and the owner in fee did not acquiesce in,
  or know of, the use of the light, he would not be bound. 11 East, 372; 3
  Camp. 444; 4 Camp. 616. If the owner of a close builds a house upon one half
  of it, with a window lighted from the other half, he cannot obstruct lights
  on the premises granted by him; and in such case no lapse of time necessary
  to confirm the grantee's right to enjoy them. 1 Vent. 237, 289; 1 Lev. 122;
  1 Keb. 553; Sid. 167, 227; L. Raym. 87; 6 Mod. 116; 1 Price, 27; 12 Mass.
  159, Rep. 24; 2 Saund. 114, n. 4; Hamm. N. P. 202; Selw. N. P. 1090; Com.
  Dig. Action on the Case for a Nuisance, A. Where a building has been used
  twenty years to one purpose, (as a malt house,) and it is converted to
  another, (as a dwelling-house,) it is entitled in its new state only to the
  same degree of light which was necessary in its former state. 1 Campb. 322;
  and see 3 Campb. 80. It has been justly remarked, that the English doctrine
  as to ancient lights can hardly be regarded as applicable to narrow lots in
  the new and growing cities of this country; for the effect of the rule would
  be greatly to impair the value of vacant lots, or those having low buildings
  upon them, in the neighborhood of other buildings more than twenty years
  old. 3 Kent, Com. 446, n.
       4.-2. What amounts to an interruption of an ancient light. Where a
  window has been completely blocked up for twenty years, it loses its
  privilege. 3 Camp. 514. An abandonment of the right by express agreement, or
  by acts from which an abandonment may be inferred, will deprive the party
  having such ancient light of his right to it. The building of a blank wall
  where the lights formerly existed, would have that effect. 3 B. & Cr. 332.
  See Ad. & Ell. 325.
       5.-3. Of the remedy for interrupting an ancient light. 1. An action
  on the case will lie against a person who obstructs an ancient light. 9 Co.
  58; 2 Rolle's Abr. 140, 1. Nusans, G 10. And see Bac. Ab. Actions on the
  Case, D; Carth. 454; Comb. 481; 6 Mod. 116.
       6. Total deprivation of light is not necessary to sustain this action,
  and if the party cannot enjoy the light in so free and ample a manner as he
  did before, he may sustain the action; but there should be some sensible
  diminution of the light and air. 4. Esp. R. 69. The building a wall which
  merely obstructs the right, is not actionable. 9 Ca. 58, b; 1 Mod. 55.
       7.-4. Nor is the opening windows and destroying, the privacy of the
  adjoining property; but such new window may be immediately obstructed to
  prevent a right to it being acquired by twenty years use. 3 Campb. 82.
       8.-5. When the right is clearly established, courts of equity will
  grant an injunction to restrain a party from building so near the
  plaintiff's house as to darken his windows. 2 Vern. 646; 2 Bro. C. C. 65; 16
  Ves. 338; Eden on Inj. 268, 9; 1 Story on Eq Sec. 926; 1 Smith's Chan. Pr.
  593.; 4 Simm. 559; 2 Russ. R. 121. See Injunction; Plan.
       See generally on this subject, 1 Nels. Abr. 56, 7; 16 Vin. Abr. 26; 1
  Leigh's N. P. C. 6, s. 8, p. 558; 12 E. C. L. R. 218; 24 Id. 401; 21 Id.
  373; 1 id. 161; 10 Id. 99; 28 Id. 143; 23 Am. Jur. 46 to 64; 3 Kent, Com.
  446, 2d ed. 7 Wheat. R. 106; 19 Wend. R. 309; Math on Pres. 318 to 323; 2
  Watts, 331; 9 Bing. 305; 1 Chit. Pr. 206, 208; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1619-23.

Contact=webmaster@dict.org Specification=RFC 2229