searchlight

noun
search·​light | \ ˈsərch-ˌlīt \

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

The fight, later named the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, saw Hiei use her powerful searchlights to illuminate the American ships. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Sunken Japanese World War II Battleship Discovered Off Solomon Islands," 7 Feb. 2019 Under the sweeping searchlight of the Eiffel Tower and nestled in the quiet cobbles of Saint-Germain, Hunting Season kicked off Couture Week last night with an intimate dinner at Le Bar de L’Hotel. Alexander Howard, Vogue, "At Couture Week, Hunting Season Hosted a Très Chic Crew for Dinner," 22 Jan. 2019 On this moonless evening, the Cruiser’s headlights and Alan’s handheld searchlight are truly the only illumination in the enveloping black. Virginia Van Zanten, Vogue, "Why Botswana Should Top Your Travel List in 2019," 27 Dec. 2018 This speech was a searchlight, illuminating just how much American politics has changed over the past couple of decades. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Barack Obama’s crucial insight into the crisis of American democracy," 7 Sep. 2018 Japanese searchlights suddenly stabbed through the night and illuminated U.S. ships. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, "How SF’s namesake ship survived a World War II ‘suicide’ mission," 9 June 2018 The water beneath Portland’s southernmost bridge was now cut by rescue boats, lit by searchlights, beaten by helicopters, the river’s banks trampled by police and residents who could not or did not want to go back to sleep. Nancy Rommelmann, Good Housekeeping, "Amanda Stott-Smith Was a Loving Mother of 3. So Why Did She Try to Murder Her 2 Youngest Kids?," 29 June 2018 But the searchlights also allowed the American gunners to see their adversaries. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, "How SF’s namesake ship survived a World War II ‘suicide’ mission," 9 June 2018 Across the English Channel, more than 640,000 British women served in auxiliary services, performing noncombat work such as handling massive searchlights to spot enemy aircraft intent on bombing British cities. Sarah Betancourt, The Christian Science Monitor, "From paranurses to snipers: Exhibit focuses on women's WWII contributions," 25 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of searchlight

1883, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for searchlight

The first known use of searchlight was in 1883

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More Definitions for searchlight

searchlight

noun

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 \

Kids Definition of searchlight

: a lamp for sending a beam of bright light

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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

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