leading light


Definition of leading light

: a prominent and influential member (as of a community or church)

Examples of leading light in a Sentence

He is one of the leading lights of the labor movement.

Recent Examples on the Web

Not about collusion, Russian interference or obstruction of justice, but about the leading lights of journalism who managed to get the story so wrong, and for so long. Sean Davis, WSJ, "A Catastrophic Media Failure," 25 Mar. 2019 But behind the showman’s bravado is a connoisseur of design’s leading lights. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "Alan Faena Built the Ultimate Shopping Bazaar for Design Snobs," 26 Mar. 2019 Takuya Matsumoto and Tatsu Aikawa, chefs and business partners who opened Kemuri Tatsu-ya last year, are the leading lights of this new hybrid cuisine. Brett Anderson, New York Times, "Tokyo in Texas: Distinctive Japanese Food Is Thriving in Austin," 30 Apr. 2018 On July 1, 1987, Ted Kennedy, then a senator and a leading light within the Democratic Party, took to the Senate floor to denounce Robert Bork, whom Ronald Reagan had just nominated for the Supreme Court. Jane Coaston, Vox, "“Borking,” explained: why a failed Supreme Court nomination in 1987 matters," 26 Sep. 2018 Newspapers emblazon the faces of and headlines about the leading lights all over the front pages, and deliver blanket coverage in the sports sections at the back. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "England's World Cup run is magical but the fans need to chill out," 7 July 2018 Neko Case Sunday, July 8, at Starlight Theatre Serving as the leading light of the alternative country movement gets an artist only so far. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "KC concerts July 5-11: Warped Tour, Joan Jett, Paramore, Xscape, STS9, Neko Case," 3 July 2018 Once a leading light of New York City's burgeoning freak-folk scene, Grizzly Bear has struggled to find its niche since that movement dried up a decade ago. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Best and worst of Summerfest Day 1: Kane Brown, Walker Hayes, Jethro Tull and more," 27 June 2018 In its earliest incarnation, the group was a leading light of the English blues scene. NBC News, "Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan dies at 68," 10 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of leading light

1655, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about leading light

Statistics for leading light

Last Updated

29 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for leading light

The first known use of leading light was in 1655

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for leading light

leading light


English Language Learners Definition of leading light

: a person who is a very important member of a group, organization, or community

More from Merriam-Webster on leading light

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leading light

Comments on leading light

What made you want to look up leading light? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

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

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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