adj. slight·er, slight·est
1. Small in size, degree, or amount: a slight tilt; a slight surplus.
2. Lacking strength, substance, or solidity; frail: a slight foundation; slight evidence.
3. Of small importance or consideration; trifling: slight matters.
4. Small and slender in build or construction; delicate.
tr.v. slight·ed, slight·ing, slights
1. To treat (someone) with discourteous reserve or inattention: "the occasional feeling of being slighted at others' underestimating my charms and talents" (Joseph Epstein).
2. To treat as of small importance; make light of: "If I have ... slighted the contributions of my many predecessors, let me offer a blanket apology" (Joseph J. Ellis).
3. To do negligently or thoughtlessly; scant: "It is a proper question to ask of an assignment whether some of its parts might be omitted or slighted" (Stanley Fish).
4. To raze or level the walls of (a castle or other fortification).
A deliberate discourtesy; a snub: "She got into the car, thinking how sensitive men are to slights from women and how insensitive to slights to women" (Marge Piercy).
[Middle English, slender, smooth, possibly of Scandinavian origin; see lei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.