light-year, alternatively spelled lightyear, is a unit of length used to express astronomical distances and is equivalent to about 9.46 trillion kilometers (9.46×1012 km) or 5.88 trillion miles (5.88×1012 mi).

As defined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), a light-year is the distance that light travels in vacuum in one Julian year (365.25 days).

Because it includes the word “year”, the term light-year is sometimes misinterpreted as a unit of time.