plural noun
foot·​lights | \ ˈfu̇t-ˌlīts How to pronounce footlights (audio) \

Definition of footlights

1 : a row of lights set across the front of a stage floor
2 : the stage as a profession the lure of the footlights

Examples of footlights in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web My last chance to tread the boards had fizzled, the footlights shut down, and why not? Cynthia Ozick, The New Yorker, 7 Mar. 2022 Elsewhere are 11 bedrooms, 8.5 bathrooms, a grand salon, library and theater with original footlights and a bar. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 1 Feb. 2022 Last winter, stage manager and producer Cody Renard Richard founded a scholarship for students of color interested in careers beyond the footlights. Lee Seymour, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 But, once grown, the young woman, April Darling (Joan Peers), is tempted by the footlights—and by romance. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 3 Nov. 2021 Next year will shine footlights on the club’s intentions. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 2 Oct. 2021 The successful bonding agent has been not church or sports, but theater: Creede is the triumph of the Friday night footlights. New York Times, 4 Aug. 2021 And there is little clue of when the footlights in Broadway theaters will shine again. New York Times, 19 Sep. 2020 Re-focus the footlights on him and his program next fall, when normalcy is more than a concept. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 2 Mar. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'footlights.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of footlights

1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About footlights

Time Traveler for footlights

Time Traveler

The first known use of footlights was in 1776

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near footlights




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for footlights

Last Updated

3 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Footlights.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for footlights


noun plural
foot·​lights | \ ˈfu̇t-ˌlīts How to pronounce footlights (audio) \

Kids Definition of footlights

: a row of lights set across the front of a stage floor

More from Merriam-Webster on footlights

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for footlights

Nglish: Translation of footlights for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!