spotlight

noun
spot·light | \ˈspät-ˌlīt \

Definition of spotlight 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a projected spot of light used to illuminate brilliantly a person, object, or group on a stage

b : public notice or attention held the political spotlight

2a : a light designed to direct a narrow intense beam of light on a small area

b : something that illuminates brilliantly

spotlight

verb
spotlighted or spotlit; spotlighting

Definition of spotlight (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to illuminate with a spotlight

2 : to direct attention to : highlight

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Examples of spotlight in a Sentence

Noun

They aimed the spotlight at the center of the stage. A spotlight moved across the stage. The actor stood in the spotlight. a baseball star who hates the spotlight They're always in the spotlight. The news article turned the spotlight on the city's financial problems.

Verb

She was spotlighted as she sang her solo. The news spotlighted the city's financial problems.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Magic ran to the spotlight and made the passes; Kareem retreated to the solitude and made the baskets. Jack Mccallum, SI.com, "Go West, Big Man: The Logo on LeBron James and the Allure of Los Angeles," 11 July 2018 The show will span five decades of Mona’s personal couture beginning in her Golden Years of the 1930s and concluding in the 1970s upon her retirement from the public spotlight. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "'Must-see' museum exhibit is in Louisville — and it features 'royalty'," 9 July 2018 Since then, circumstances have kept the normally low-key operation in the public spotlight. Don Stacom, Courant Community, "New Chief Of New Britain Water Utility Sees Rebuilding Ahead," 6 July 2018 John Latino and Derrick Robles, the two friends who founded the Bongo Room and still run it today, are endearingly averse to the spotlight. Sarah Nardi, Chicago Reader, "The Bongo Room turns 25: A look back at Wicker Park's beloved brunch spot," 5 July 2018 Furthermore, issues of equality that sparked the anthem protests in the National Football League and elsewhere, are less in the public spotlight in the United Kingdom. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "England players under orders to belt out national anthem at World Cup," 3 July 2018 As an actor and outspoken activist, Rowan Blanchard is no stranger to the spotlight. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Rowan Blanchard, Sadie Sink, and More Celebs Walk in the Miu Miu Resort 2019 Show," 1 July 2018 It's been a whirlwind, but Tutton is used to the spotlight. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "In Real Life singer, 'Boy Band' winner Brady Tutton comes home to Milwaukee for Summerfest," 25 June 2018 After being sidelined by kidney surgery last month, first lady Melania Trump has been slowly returning to the public spotlight. Brian Frederick, Washington Post, "Why Melania Trump isn’t as popular as Laura Bush or Michelle Obama," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Nationwide, prices for meat-rock specimens have boomed, helped in part by the country’s state broadcaster, which in recent years has aired multiple segments spotlighting meat rocks. Te-ping Chen, WSJ, "If You’re Collecting Rocks, Might as Well Find Ones That Look Like Meat," 13 May 2018 The campaign is an attempt to speak to a broader audience, with ads spotlighting Latinos and veterans. Time, "Johnnie Walker Whisky Bottles Have a Female Logo Now. Meet 'Jane Walker'," 26 Feb. 2018 The campaign is an attempt to speak to a broader audience, with ads spotlighting Latinos and veterans. Jennifer Kaplan, Bloomberg.com, "Diageo Introduces ‘Jane Walker’ Scotch in Bid to Attract Women," 26 Feb. 2018 To battle the summer-style blahs, Mr. Barket endorses tucking a button-up shirt into the shorts to spotlight those striking pleats. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "This Summer, Dress Like Hemingway on His Boat," 10 July 2018 Now in our seventh year, with a 4,000-strong alumni network that spans the globe, this list continues to spotlight the impressive, the inspiring and the (genuinely) enviable. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Who wins the annual Forbes’ “30 Under 30” education awards? New study details telling links between judges and winners," 3 July 2018 Kohan famously used Orange’s white, middle-class lead as a Trojan horse, moving past her story to spotlight the lives of poor, nonwhite, LGBT and mentally ill women who are rarely depicted onscreen. Judy Berman, Time, "Glow Fades But Stays Fun in Its Second Season," 21 June 2018 The two-hour, five-stop itineraries aim to spotlight not just the dishes but food sustainability, from blueberries to lobster ($72). Elaine Glusac, New York Times, "Eating and Drinking Your Way Through A Trip, and Learning Something in the Process," 18 May 2018 The special looks at the high-profile relationship through a historical lens to spotlight how this revolutionary real couple is following in a long tradition of exceptional American women who married into European nobility. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Meghan Markle receives advice from future Countess of Sandwich Julie Montagu: 'Stay American'," 11 May 2018

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

Noun

1904, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1907, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Learn More about spotlight

Dictionary Entries near spotlight

spot lamp

spot lens

spotless

spotlight

spotlighter

spotlike

spot line

Phrases Related to spotlight

the spotlight

Statistics for spotlight

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spotlight

The first known use of spotlight was in 1904

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More Definitions for spotlight

spotlight

noun

English Language Learners Definition of spotlight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device that directs a narrow, bright beam of light on a small area

: the area of light created by a spotlight

the spotlight : public attention or notice

spotlight

verb

English Language Learners Definition of spotlight (Entry 2 of 2)

: to shine a spotlight on (someone or something)

: to give special attention to (something)

spotlight

noun
spot·light | \ˈspät-ˌlīt \

Kids Definition of spotlight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a spot of light used to show up a particular area, person, or thing (as on a stage)

2 : public notice She's a celebrity but doesn't like the spotlight.

3 : a lamp used to direct a narrow strong beam of light on a small area

spotlight

verb
spotlighted or spotlit\ˈspät-ˌlit \; spotlighting

Kids Definition of spotlight (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to light up with or as if with a spotlight

2 : to bring to public attention

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Comments on spotlight

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