This context is from a script from the movie "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo"

Your report is light in another area. His personal life. Anything you chose not to include?

  1. light on informal lacking a sufficient quantity of (something)

Seems like this definition fits here but there is no preposition "on" Is this the meaning here? can you use it like that?


2 Answers 2


The meaning is the same. This entry, in the adjective section, meaning 18, says that "light" (the word itself) can carry the same meaning as "light on" or "short on."

Light on is a phrase; it can take an object by itself: "Your report was light on details." Light in is not really its own phrase, so much; it's really just that same meaning of "light," combined with a category. One difference in usage: We can use light on with the "items" that are lacking, but light in ___ only with categories; we even sometimes turn an item into a category humorously: "My sandwich is light on the mayonnaise." "My sandwich is light in the mayonnaise department."

  • Andy, light on is not a phrase really. heavy on x, light on x, right on y. Etc.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 18, 2022 at 18:12
  • heavy on x, light on x, right on x [that] etc.

on plus a noun or on the plus a noun means: with regard to or as regards. This soup is heavy on salt.

BUT: light in an area, because in an area means in this subject matter.

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