searchlight

noun
search·​light | \ ˈsərch-ˌlīt How to pronounce searchlight (audio) \

Definition of searchlight

: an apparatus for projecting a powerful beam of light also : a beam of light projected by it

Examples of searchlight in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Two searchlights crisscrossed in the sky and gave the event an aura of a Hollywood premiere. Douglas C. Towne, azcentral, "A car dealer's 'spectacular' 24-foot turntable for autos once graced Central," 30 Apr. 2020 Attentional processes are the brain’s way of shining a searchlight on relevant stimuli and filtering out the rest. Quanta Magazine, "To Pay Attention, the Brain Uses Filters, Not a Spotlight," 24 Sep. 2019 Neuroscientists want to determine the circuits that aim and power that searchlight. Quanta Magazine, "To Pay Attention, the Brain Uses Filters, Not a Spotlight," 24 Sep. 2019 Inside the convention hall, red-and-white searchlights dance overhead, making the ceiling look as if Poké balls, which players use in the game to catch the various characters, are bouncing on the ceiling. cleveland.com, "People are still obsessed with Pokémon and this is their Super Bowl," 20 Aug. 2019 The camp is surrounded by a flimsy fence and lacks even basic security precautions such as searchlights. Anchorage Daily News, "U.S. will not secure ISIS prisons if Kurds exit," 9 Oct. 2019 This was, in part, driven by the availability of surplus searchlights, which could be turned into cheap arrays of light detectors to measure the properties of stars. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Identical photons generated 150 million kilometers apart," 22 Aug. 2019 Two hundred searchlights from 34 naval vessels participated in the 30-minute program. Scott Harrison, Los Angeles Times, "From the Archives: Navy searchlights illuminate San Pedro night," 15 Oct. 2019 CDLs were older, aging tanks fitted with searchlights that flickered their light beams up to six times a second. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Russian Navy Is Fitting Ships with Barf-Inducing Lights," 4 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'searchlight.' 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 searchlight

1883, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about searchlight

Time Traveler for searchlight

Time Traveler

The first known use of searchlight was in 1883

See more words from the same year

Statistics for searchlight

Last Updated

12 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Searchlight.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/searchlight. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for searchlight

searchlight

noun
How to pronounce searchlight (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of searchlight

: a very bright light that can be aimed in different directions and that is used to find people or things in the dark

searchlight

noun
search·​light | \ ˈsərch-ˌlīt How to pronounce searchlight (audio) \

Kids Definition of searchlight

: a lamp for sending a beam of bright light

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on searchlight

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with searchlight

Spanish Central: Translation of searchlight

Nglish: Translation of searchlight for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about searchlight

Comments on searchlight

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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