spotlight

noun
spot·​light | \ ˈspät-ˌlīt How to pronounce spotlight (audio) \

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

The car also had front spotlights, a siren and a public announcement system, according to officials. Hannah Fry, latimes.com, "Man impersonated officer to pull over woman and sexually assault her, police say," 10 July 2019 The state wildlife agency relies on volunteers to help monitor the ferrets and, twice a year, sends out whoever shows up with vehicles, spotlights and cages. Andrew Nicla, AZCentral.com, "Late hours, no pay, diminishing returns: Scouring the Arizona desert for black-footed ferrets," 10 July 2019 The bottom half of this year's top 100 features multiple quarterbacks under bright spotlights this fall. The Si Staff, SI.com, "Top 100 College Football Players of 2019: Nos. 100–51," 9 July 2019 Her distaste for the spotlight that came with being a Kennedy was articulated early on in their relationship. Adrienne Gaffney, Town & Country, "The Last Days of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy," 9 July 2019 The spotlight on prisoners’ hardships embarrassed Hanoi and led to better treatment for some. Robert D. Mcfadden, New York Times, "Ross Perot, Brash Texas Billionaire Who Ran for President, Dies at 89," 9 July 2019 Kilmer’s slow return to the spotlight comes as he is set to hit the big screen again in Top Gun: Maverick, a sequel to the 1986 classic. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, "Val Kilmer Continues His Return to the Spotlight with Appearance at Charity Basketball Game," 9 July 2019 The Epstein case reentered the national spotlight last year after a Miami Herald investigation into the plea negotiations exposed their injustice and leniency. Deanna Paul, The Denver Post, "Jeffrey Epstein, the politically connected financier with ties to Trump and Clinton," 8 July 2019 For truly unfathomable reasons, Grande chose to once again perform without traditional spotlights. Ross Raihala, Twin Cities, "Ariana Grande plays her finest local gig to date, but the crowd couldn’t see her," 8 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Rather than emphasizing the mythological hero’s actions, the painter chose to spotlight the classical couple’s first moments together. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "The Frick Revives 18th-Century Frescoes Destroyed During World War II," 3 July 2019 Hosted by RWSB’s executive chef Josh Gripper, the events will spotlight local guest chefs and themed evenings. Rod Stafford Hagwood, sun-sentinel.com, "Cool things to do in July in Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach, Key West and other South Florida cities," 24 June 2019 Both policymakers have pushed for bolstering mental health programs in light of problems spotlighted by The Oregonian/OregonLive’s investigations. oregonlive.com, "Multnomah County leader calls planned state mental health cuts ‘devastating’," 21 June 2019 The image of his horrified face, spotlighted by Duncombe in the phantasmagoric final tableau, kept my soul chilled all the way to the beach. Margaret Gray, latimes.com, "Review: At City Garage in Santa Monica, a king who won't accept the ultimate exit," 19 June 2019 Christian groups and media companies have spotlighted the event as well. Eli Rosenberg, Washington Post, "City officials canceled a children’s story time hosted by drag queens. Then a church saved the day.," 11 June 2019 Politico spotlighted this week how the Bluegrass State is benefiting from a special arrangement set up by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is McConnell's wife, to the tune of about $78 million. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "Elaine Chao’s $78M for Kentucky projects seen as helping McConnell's reelection," 11 June 2019 Other Christian groups and media companies have spotlighted the event as well. The Washington Post, al.com, "Texas library closing for church-hosted drag queen story hour," 11 June 2019 These restaurant groups and organizations will spotlight the best of Connecticut’s bounty at special outdoor feasts. Leeanne Griffin, courant.com, "This year’s list of farm-to-table dinners in Connecticut," 5 June 2019

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

Statistics for spotlight

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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
: 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 How to pronounce spotlight (audio) \

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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