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

Never one to shy away from the spotlight, Spencer has made headlines in the past for recreational steroid use, and his past relationships before marrying model Vogue Williams in 2018. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "10 Things to Know About Pippa Middleton's Husband James Matthews," 16 Oct. 2018 After taking time away from the spotlight to focus on the birth of their daughter, Stormi, both Kylie and Travis have returned with a vengeance. Dan Barna, Allure, "Kylie Jenner Transforms Into the Virgin Mary for Travis Scott's "Stop Trying to Be God" Video," 7 Aug. 2018 But when Jobs and Gates each step away from the spotlight at the end of the decade, their competing companies undoubtedly found themselves in different positions. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "How Steve Jobs and Bill Gates defined a decade of tech—according to CNN’s The 2000s," 30 July 2018 Cole went to college to step away from the spotlight after years on the Disney Channel. Hannah Orenstein, Seventeen, "20 Things You Didn't Know About Cole Sprouse," 25 July 2018 Skyscraper serves as her return to the big screen after taking a break away from the spotlight. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, "Neve Campbell Stuns on Date Night with Boyfriend After Announcing They Adopted a Son," 11 July 2018 There was a time Troy Pindell shied from the spotlight. Shandel Richardson, Sun-Sentinel.com, "With his playing days over, former FAU safety Troy Pindell finds success via YouTube channel," 9 July 2018 The current first lady has shied away from the spotlight considerably compared with her predecessors. Colleen Shalby, latimes.com, "Melania Trump's 'don't care' jacket isn't the first time her wardrobe has become the story," 22 June 2018 Stormy’s Casino Royale was shut down in the late 1950s amid a lawsuit between the club owner and his landlord, and its namesake star faded from the spotlight. Kristine Phillips, Washington Post, "Meet Stormy, the exotic dancer (no, not that one) who embraced the power of getting naked," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As the light rises from total darkness, a tight bundle of lace is spotlighted in the center of this space. Alan Berner, The Seattle Times, "This isn’t for everyone: Sumner dancer tries to ‘wake up senses’ with strange art of butoh," 17 July 2018 One thing is for certain: Those who buy the Rimowa x Off-White case ought to make sure its contents are worthy of spotlighting. Fortune, "Rimowa and Virgil Abloh Are Creating Completely See-Through Luggage," 5 June 2018 The Witching Hour Horror fans, rejoice: The Witching Hour program is the perfect precursor to Halloween, spotlighting a spooky selection of short horror films—with an indigenous twist. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "At imagineNATIVE, Indigenous-Made Films Challenge Expectations," 22 Sep. 2018 Deep dives on cities, architecture, design, real estate, and urban planning, sent to your inbox on Saturdays The show spotlights lottery winners from all walks of life. Angela Serratore, Curbed, "The pure joy of HGTV’s ‘My Lottery Dream Home’," 21 Sep. 2018 The opening is the latest in a string of news spotlighting Kansas City. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "Kansas City's Latest Hotel is Also the City's Newest Art Museum," 17 July 2018 Aziz said the inability to file failure to report charges spotlights the need for Texas to extend the statute of limitations in such cases. David Barron, Houston Chronicle, "Larry Nassar, ex-trainer charged with sexual assault in Karolyi Ranch investigation," 29 June 2018 The novel benefits from chapters set within the woods and spotlighting Maisie’s entrapped ancestors. Michael Berry, San Francisco Chronicle, "Science fiction and fantasy books: ‘Belly Up,’ ‘What Should Be Wild,’ ‘84K’," 7 June 2018 Since the keynote, Apple has put out a new webpage touting iOS12 features, and spotlighted ten Siri additions. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Apple, where's the smarter Siri in iOS 12?," 6 June 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

Statistics for spotlight

Last Updated

15 Dec 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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