type of barge used in unloading, late 15c., agent noun from light (adj.1), with a sense of lightening a load, or else from or modeled on Dutch lichter, from lichten "to lighten, unload," on the same notion. They are used in loading or unloading ships that cannot approach a wharf. Related: Lighterman.
"person who lights," 1550s, agent noun from light (v.2). From 1851 of devices or instruments to lighting gas-jets or candles (originally often a simple twist of paper rolled into a tapering tube); from 1895 of mechanical cigarette lighters.
updated on July 09, 2016