When an object is lightweight, it weighs much less than other similar objects. A person is a lightweight if they can't handle much — if you get full after a small meal, big eaters might refer to you as a lightweight.

Break lightweight apart — light + weight — and you see its definition right there in its root words. Someone who is called a lightweight is either a professional boxer who weighs under 135 pounds or he's someone with little importance or ability. When a company is looking to make layoffs, it's the lightweight employees, or those who just aren't important to the business that often get axed first.

Definitions of lightweight
  1. adjective
    weighing relatively little compared with another item or object of similar use
    “a lightweight fabric”
    lightweight wood”
    of comparatively little physical weight or density
  2. noun
    a professional boxer who weighs between 131 and 135 pounds
    see moresee less
    type of:
    gladiator, prizefighter
    a professional boxer
  3. noun
    an amateur boxer who weighs no more than 132 pounds
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    type of:
    boxer, pugilist
    someone who fights with his fists for sport
  4. noun
    a wrestler who weighs 139-154 pounds
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    type of:
    grappler, matman, wrestler
    combatant who tries to throw opponent to the ground
  5. noun
    someone who is unimportant but cheeky and presumptuous
    synonyms: jackanapes, whippersnapper
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    type of:
    cipher, cypher, nobody, nonentity
    a person of no influence
  6. adjective
    having no importance or influence
    “a lightweight intellect”
    not important
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘lightweight'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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