lime·light | \ˈlīm-ˌlīt \

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


an actress who discovered that the limelight was not such a glowing experience when her privacy was invaded

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

When not composing for the divas, Gürel was never far from the limelight herself. Laignee Barron, Time, "Lyricist Aysel Gürel Would Have Turned 89 Today. Here's What You Should Know About Turkey's Wild Child," 7 Feb. 2018 Anxious to bring his work back into the limelight, his family collaborated with Jensen to organize a one-man gallery exhibit at the Doylestown museum. Bonnie L. Cook,, "Robert M. Engman, 91, creator of sculptures great and small," 10 July 2018 Thrust into the limelight, Singaporeans have responded with a mix of pride, frivolity and entrepreneurial spirit. Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "I’ll Have Atomic Wings! For Singapore Foodies, Trump-Kim Fusion Is the Bomb," 10 June 2018 After over a decade in the limelight, Kylie Jenner knows that a celebrity's every social media post is dissected, analyzed, and ripped apart., "Kylie Jenner's Father's Day Tribute To Caitlyn Jenner Faces Backlash," 18 June 2018 The episode revived worries in Trump's inner circle about Giuliani, who enjoys the media limelight and has a tendency to go off-script. Jonathan Lemire,, "As headlines swirl, Trump grows frustrated with Giuliani media blitz," 7 May 2018 The pensive Mr Müller, 64, rarely had the air of a man enjoying the limelight. The Economist, "The departure of the VW boss heralds a big shake-up," 12 Apr. 2018 One great skier, always prepared for the limelight, explaining defeat. Tim Layden,, "Lindsey Vonn Misses Podium, Czech Snowboarder Ester Ledecka Wins Stunning Gold in Super-G," 17 Feb. 2018 DeVos’ regulatory rollback agenda on for-profit colleges could draw her back into the limelight. NBC News, "DeVos agenda on higher education is a new front for Democratic resistance," 3 July 2018

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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Phrases Related to limelight

the limelight

Statistics for limelight

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for limelight

The first known use of limelight was in 1826

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More Definitions for limelight


lime·light | \ˈlīm-ˌlīt \

Kids Definition of limelight

: the center of public attention

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