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 Under the glare of his copter’s searchlight, the pilot could see the sub’s hull was awash as the crew clung to the steel safety cable. San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 May 2022 Upstairs are 418 rooms on 17 floors renovated with oak floors and a custom retro wallpaper scheme featuring a repeating pattern of a cable car, the Golden Gate Bridge and a searchlight on the Bay. Sam Whiting, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 Mar. 2022 Soon after the wobbly dinghy finally drifted into the inky night, a fluorescent blue beam scanned the restaurant tables like a searchlight. Rachel Howard, Travel + Leisure, 27 Dec. 2021 Stage pictures are mainly created by Thomas Dunn’s lighting, which sometimes traps Davis in a long white triangle, a film noir heroine caught in a searchlight. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 11 Oct. 2021 Philip swung the battleship’s searchlight rapidly, lighting up one enemy ship after another, and two Italian cruisers were sunk in five minutes. Ron Grossman,, 17 Apr. 2021 Philip participated in the clash, operating a searchlight. New York Times, 9 Apr. 2021 The hotel was part of a complex that included a 40-room chalet, small zoo, an observatory and the searchlight from the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2021 On each of the three E’s, the pandemic has acted as a combination of unforgiving stress test and high-powered searchlight. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Mar. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of searchlight

1883, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for searchlight

Time Traveler

The first known use of searchlight was in 1883

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Dictionary Entries Near searchlight



searchlight lantern

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Statistics for searchlight

Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Searchlight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for searchlight


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

Kids Definition of searchlight

: a lamp for sending a beam of bright light

More from Merriam-Webster on searchlight

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


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