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In Tennessee William's play, "The Glass Managerie", Amanda says:

It wasn't enough for a girl to be possessed of a pretty face and a graceful figure although I wasn't slighted in either respect."

What is the meaning of "slighted" in this sentence?

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  • If I asked you to pick one of the three meanings in the first definition on thefreedictionary, which one would you pick?
    – JMB
    May 4, 2015 at 10:00
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    The word is not "alighted" but "slighted". May 4, 2015 at 11:46
  • Unfortunately, there was a typo in the script I downloaded. The correct word is "slighted". But , again i don't understand the meaning. Does " be slighted in" mean "I wasn't gifted "?
    – Vic
    May 4, 2015 at 13:29
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    It would be helpful if you included a couple more sentences, so that there will be more context.
    – user6951
    May 4, 2015 at 14:40
  • I would interpret this as Amanda saying that she did have a pretty face and graceful figure: replace "slighted" with "lacking". However, it is ambiguous.
    – mkennedy
    May 4, 2015 at 19:23

4 Answers 4

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I would say the meaning comes from the root of alight: light, i.e., she wasn't illuminated, lit up in either respect. But I would rather paraphrase it as:

(...) I didn't shine in either respect.

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    Any chance you could add some citations to back up your answer? May 4, 2015 at 11:26
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    The free dictionary JMB mentioned above has one which has a more concrete use of the word: the sky was alight with stars. May 4, 2015 at 11:31
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    Although, there might be an issue, alight in old english meant "to relieve", so if she wasn't pretty, the text could mean I wasn't relieved in either respect or criteria. I guess I would have to get more into the context. Sorry for the confusion, although I still feel more inclined to the more intuitive reasoning of the word. May 4, 2015 at 11:36
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Slighted in this sense means to be denied of something.(source) It is often used to refer to something you deserved or were promised. In this context the character is saying she has both a pretty face a graceful figure, or is not lacking those features. However, I don't believe it's common to use slighted in that context, I would use lacking instead.

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I'm not totally sure of the context this quote is coming from - after a little research the following two definitions make the most sense to me (source)

  1. To treat (someone) with discourteous reserve or inattention
  2. To treat as of small importance; make light of

"Insulted" is a good synonym in this case.

It sounds like this person was told that being pretty wasn't enough - but that she was indeed pretty, so that she was not "slighted" (or insulted).

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It means she wasn't ignored in either aspect. So she was both yet it wasn't enough.

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