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 Erivo was standing in the limelight for herself, but surely there were those who took in her presence and saw themselves in her. Washington Post, "The Oscars red carpet was diverse, even if the nominees weren’t," 10 Feb. 2020 The one-time Pilipinas Got Talent winner is back in the limelight, showing-off his gifts on America’s Got Talent: The Champions. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Marcelito Pomoy Earns Standing Ovation With Solo Duet on 'AGT: The Champions': Watch," 3 Feb. 2020 No longer in the limelight, De Meo went about quietly building on his accomplishments. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, "Renault turns to a former rival to lead the French carmaker out of the Carlos Ghosn era," 29 Jan. 2020 McGregor and Cerrone are living in the limelight this week due to their giant UFC 246 main event on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Dave Doyle, MMA Junkie, "PETA claps back at 'cowards' Conor McGregor, Donald Cerrone over snakeskin jacket banter," 16 Jan. 2020 The visuals, which also place Suga in the limelight, are as impressive as the music. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "BTS Member Suga Rings in Comeback With "Interlude: Shadow" Trailer," 9 Jan. 2020 During an interview on the podcast, per the Golden Globe winner compared his life in the limelight to that of his costar Leonardo DiCaprio. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Brad Pitt Jokingly Refers to His Dating Life as a “Disaster”," 7 Jan. 2020 The shot put Bain — and his story — in the limelight. Tim Reynolds,, "Recognizing the top 10 plays of 2019," 27 Dec. 2019 Joe Neguse and Ken Buck, both on the House Judiciary Committee, this week’s impeachment ends a two-week stretch in the limelight, Justin Wingerter reports. The Denver Post, "Post Premium: Our best stories for the week of Dec. 16 – 22," 22 Dec. 2019

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

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Limelight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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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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