Lite vs Light – Difference Between Lite and Light
The difference between lite and light is that the word light refers to physical weight and can be used in relation to a wide array of different physical mediums, whereas the word lite specifically relates to a reduction of ingredients in food only.
Today, we are going to dive into the lite vs light comparison and give you a detailed breakdown of their definitions as well as providing you with a quick reference table to help you separate them at a glance.
By the time you are finished, you will never struggle to tell these two words apart again. Without further discussion, let’s get started!
Definition of Lite – So What Is Lite?
The definition of lite is a word that specifically relates to the removal of calories or a certain nutrient group from food or drink.
Even though the word lite is pronounced in an identical fashion to the word light, it relates specifically to food. The difference between lite and light is that light can be used within several different contexts and in relation to a wide array of chemical, biological, or other physical objects.
Lite, on the other hand, is only featured when describing the ingredients contained in food. It is hard to pinpoint the precise origin of this word, but there is a definitive link between the prevalence of social media platforms and the use of this and other abbreviated word varieties.
Other examples of this trend are abbreviations like “OMG” or “LOL,” which have become commonly used and understood terms that are used as part of our everyday language in both the physical and digital world. Similarly, lite was a term born out of the evolution of language as a shortened version of light.
Another huge difference between light and lite is that the word light has been a standard part of our spoken and written language since the 1300s, whereas lite has really only come into major use starting in the 1900s.
It is mainly marketing companies that we have to thank for the widespread distribution of the word lite because it has been a staple word used to describe food and drink types that are low in overall calories or a certain nutrient group (usually carbohydrates and/or fat).
The rationale behind the use of the word is that it stands in for the word light by saying that the food type is light in calories or content as opposed to it being light in physical weight.
Here are some examples of how the word lite is frequently used. “Try the new American lite beer now, containing the same great taste but with fewer calories.” “The new Quaker lite cereal bars taste great and have exactly half the amount of sugar compared to the standard version.”
As you can see from these example sentences, the nutrient group removed or reduced in the first sentence is calories, whereas in the second it is sugar/carbohydrates. In both instances, the word lite has been applied because of the removal of ingredients.
We will now take a closer look at the light meaning so that you can easily see the difference between light and lite in more detail.
Definition of Light – So What Is Light?
The definition of light is a word used to describe a lack of weight in relation to a biological, chemical, or other physical component.
Because of the wide array of objects or components that the word light can relate to, it is used on a far more regular basis and in a much wider variety of circumstances.
The word light has origins in the 1300s, so it has been with us for significantly longer than the word lite. The word light actually comes from a combination of Germanic, French, and Saxon (Old English) words for brightness or frivolousness or something that is light in weight.
To this day, we can still apply the word light to several different contexts extending beyond physical weight, especially in relation to the brightness and visibility of a particular area.
This is another major area where we can separate lite vs light because lite is resigned almost exclusively to describing a food type with less of certain ingredients. On occasion, the word lite has been used to describe other objects that perhaps do not have as many features as their primary counterparts.
An example of this would be something like a “Hoover Lite Edition” with less features than a “Hoover Signature Edition.” It is important to point out though that this is not only a rare occurrence, but it also comes across as grammatically inappropriate due to the widely understood and expected connotations that come with the word lite in relation to food.
Here is how we might see the word light being used as part of typical sentences to help you separate light vs lite more easily when you see them being used in written language.
“The chair was incredibly light, which made it easy to carry upstairs.” “The paint used was very lightweight and spread across the wall with ease.”
As you can see, we can easily apply the word light to any object that has a low physical weight. Instead, lite would imply less features or content.
In the next section, you will be able to see the comparison between light vs lite visually. This will help you to refresh your memory on their differences.
What Is the Main Difference Between Lite vs Light?
Please see below for a quick reference table showcasing the primary variations between lite and light.
|Low in physical weight
|Low in calories or features
|Any biological, chemical, or other physical object
|The number of ingredients in a food or drink type or the number of features in a physical object
|Brightness or level of visibility
|No alternative meanings
|1300s (Germanic, Saxon, and French origins)
|1900s (for marketing purposes)
|The word lite is an abbreviated version of the word light.
|The word lite has no abbreviations and is a 4-letter abbreviation of the 5-letter word light.
|“The ball was especially light in weight and easy to carry.”
|“The beer is the lite version and has much fewer calories.”
The above table should easily allow you to determine the lite meaning as well as providing you with a full understanding of where to use the word light appropriately.
So What Is the Difference Between Lite and Light – Conclusion?
You should now finally know how to use light or lite as part of written language and be able to effectively summarize the two. By reading through their unique definitions and origins, you should also have a full understanding of what they mean and what separates them from one another.
Just remember that in summary, the word light refers to the physical weight of any biological, chemical, or other physical object, whereas the word lite simply implies a reduction in content of some kind. This reduction is usually in relation to food or drink specifically.
If you ever find yourself lost about the meaning of these two words in the future, take a look over the table in the last section to reinvigorate your memory.