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


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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Deen tried to help Hiers find his own space in the limelight. Washington Post, "Bubba Hiers, brother of Paula Deen, dies of cancer at 65," 19 Aug. 2019 Despite his hiatus from the NBA, former L.A. Clippers’ forward, Lamar Odom is still in the limelight. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "Lamar Odom’s New Girlfriend Is A Bombshell," 9 Aug. 2019 In the wide-ranging interview, Azalea reflected on past backlash she's received for things like her look, which some have deemed an appropriation of black culture, and racist tweets that resurfaced during her run in the limelight. Leora Arnowitz, USA TODAY, "Iggy Azalea shares controversial view of cultural appropriation, response to nude photo hack," 7 Aug. 2019 According to her children, Doris Johnson didn’t like being in the limelight, and wasn’t one to brag. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Pioneer chamber leader Doris Johnson, creator of Tomball Christmas Parade, dies at 87," 2 Aug. 2019 No one found more joy in the limelight than Richards, and the actress embodies that glee with an infectious élan. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "Jayne Atkinson brings Gov. Ann Richards back to exuberant life in ‘Ann’," 19 July 2019 Surfing isn't always a lucrative profession, and being in the limelight wears on her physical and mental health. Samantha Incorvaia, azcentral, "You will find inspiration — and cliches — in documentary 'Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable'," 10 July 2019 Friends say his entire life led him to this moment in the limelight. Peter Rowe, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Poway’s Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein: a brush with death leads to a new life," 7 July 2019 Preferring to stay out of the limelight, Taormina can been seen in the back row at most any homeless-related meeting or shelter grand opening. Ben Brazil, Daily Pilot, "The low-key Taorminas channeled their success in business into helping the homeless," 15 July 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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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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More from Merriam-Webster on limelight

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with limelight

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for limelight

Spanish Central: Translation of limelight

Nglish: Translation of limelight for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about limelight

Comments on limelight

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


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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