lime·​light | \ ˈlīm-ˌlīt How to pronounce limelight (audio) \

Definition of limelight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a stage lighting instrument producing illumination by means of an oxyhydrogen flame directed on a cylinder of lime and usually equipped with a lens to concentrate the light in a beam
b : the white light produced by such an instrument
c British : spotlight
2 : the center of public attention


limelighted; limelighting; limelights

Definition of limelight (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to center attention on : spotlight

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Examples of limelight in a Sentence

Noun an actress who discovered that the limelight was not such a glowing experience when her privacy was invaded
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The country star posted a four-page, handwritten note to his verified Instagram account Tuesday saying he's used the time out of the limelight to work on himself and will not be playing any concerts or festivals this summer. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Morgan Wallen says he's working on himself after racial slur controversy," 14 Apr. 2021 Shawna mentioned her son was humble from a young age, wanting to stay out of the limelight. Luca Evans, Los Angeles Times, "Mater Dei’s Elijah Brown is trying to ‘stand on his own two’," 2 Apr. 2021 Bennett, who started for his father, Jack, on UW-Stevens Point's 2004 and '05 NCAA Division III national championship teams, usually prefers to stay out of the limelight. Star Tribune, "Podziemski is AP player of year; Bennett top coach," 22 Mar. 2021 The state's richest person, Ken Griffin, and his hedge fund were in the limelight in this year's epic GameStop short squeeze; Griffin, head of Citadel Securities, which executed trades for Robinhood, testified before Congress in February. Krisztian Sandor, Forbes, "The States With The Most Billionaires 2021," 6 Apr. 2021 Reports of Amazon workers urinating in bottles aren't new, but worker issues are in the limelight today as Amazon is facing the biggest union push in its history. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "Amazon apologizes for denying that drivers pee in bottles: 'A long-standing, industry-wide issue'," 4 Apr. 2021 Bennett, who started for his father, Jack, on UW-Stevens Point’s 2004 and ’05 NCAA Division III national championship teams, usually prefers to stay out of the limelight. Mark Stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here's why St. John's Brandin Podziemski is the AP state player of the year. Now, where's he going to college.," 22 Mar. 2021 Kerry’s critics see him as a bloviating figure who can’t stay out of the limelight., "John Kerry is on a mission to save the world," 19 Mar. 2021 The sharing of that limelight impressed the California freshman and underscored the Vermonter’s aptitude for coalition building. Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, "A new act for Bernie Sanders: Power broker," 15 Mar. 2021

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

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First Known Use of limelight


1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1909, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for limelight

Time Traveler

The first known use of limelight was in 1826

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Statistics for limelight

Last Updated

21 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Limelight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for limelight


lime·​light | \ ˈlīm-ˌlīt How to pronounce limelight (audio) \

Kids Definition of limelight

: the center of public attention

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