alight (up)on

(redirected from alight upon)

alight (up)on

1. To land or rest upon something. The large black crow alighted on the telephone wire high above the street. As he walked into the room, his eyes alighted upon a gorgeous woman wearing a red dress.
2. To arrive at a thought or idea. The engineer alighted on a mathematical solution to the problem he'd been trying to solve all week.
See also: alight

alight (up)on someone or something

to land on something; [for a bird or other flying animal] to come to rest on something. (Upon is more formal than on.) A small bird alighted on the branch directly over my head. It alighted upon the branch and began to sing.
See also: alight, on

alight on

1. To come down and settle on something; land on something: I watch the birds alight on the branches outside my window.
2. To discover or arrive at something by chance: The workers alighted on a simple solution to the problem.
See also: alight, on
References in classic literature ?
That merry wag Will Stutely was in command; and when he saw the palefaced Sheriff being led in like any culprit, he took his cloak and laid it humbly upon the ground and besought the Sheriff to alight upon it, as the ground of Sherwood was unused to such dignitaries.
Raoul, concealed in the shadow, divined the many passionate thoughts that established, between the tent of the young ambassador and the balcony of the princess, a mysterious and magical bond of sympathy -- a bond created by thoughts imprinted with so much strength and persistence of will, that they must have caused happy and loving dreams to alight upon the perfumed couch, which the count, with the eyes of his soul, devoured so eagerly.
Some men are born to good luck: all they do or try to do comes right-- all that falls to them is so much gain--all their geese are swans--all their cards are trumps--toss them which way you will, they will always, like poor puss, alight upon their legs, and only move on so much the faster.
I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance than I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.
With a wavering movement, and emitting a tremulous radiance, the butterfly struggled, as it were, towards the infant, and was about to alight upon his finger; but while it still hovered in the air, the little child of strength, with his grandsire's sharp and shrewd expression in his face, made a snatch at the marvellous insect and compressed it in his hand.
They would sometimes alight upon my victuals, and leave their loathsome excrement, or spawn behind, which to me was very visible, though not to the natives of that country, whose large optics were not so acute as mine, in viewing smaller objects.
Now we are alone, dear Aramis," said D'Artagnan, "tell me how the devil you managed to alight upon the back of Planchet's horse.
Mighty was the uproar as the two forces met; the sea came rolling in towards the ships and tents of the Achaeans, but waves do not thunder on the shore more loudly when driven before the blast of Boreas, nor do the flames of a forest fire roar more fiercely when it is well alight upon the mountains, nor does the wind bellow with ruder music as it tears on through the tops of when it is blowing its hardest, than the terrible shout which the Trojans and Achaeans raised as they sprang upon one another.
Youssef and Layla alight upon Abboud's work only briefly and their remarks echo nowhere else in their exchanges or those of the other characters.
Some men are born to good luck: all they do or try to do comes right - all that falls to them is so much gain - all their geese are swans - all their cards are trumps - toss them which way you will, they will always, like poor puss, alight upon their legs, and only move on so much the faster," reads a passage from their fairy tales.
Searching for comfort in all this, you alight upon the notion that Swansea are too good to go down, perhaps the old crumb of comfort football can throw up in such predicaments.
Perhaps once they have explored every other possibility their gaze might alight upon their Championship cousins who, in the middle of a crisis, might not seem so ugly after all.
The Years is a peculiarly gestural novel; one which chooses repeatedly to alight upon the use of the hands--and ongoing registration of manual action well beyond a simple reading of the manners and the manicures of the day.
Let us skip lightly over the potential irritant of jingling all the way throughout a journey - I have endured enough trips twitching every time the bus hits a bump in the road because somebody is leaning against the bell - and alight upon an even worse Christmas song.