LIGO is a programming language that aims to provide developers with an uncomplicated and safe way to implement smart-contracts. Since it is being implemented for the Tezos blockchain LIGO compiles to Michelson—the native smart-contract language of Tezos.
Smart-contracts are programs that run within a blockchain network.
LIGO was meant to be a language for developing Marigold on top of a hacky framework called Meta-Michelson. However, due to the attention received by the Tezos community, LIGO is now a standalone language being developed to support Tezos directly.