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

These are some of the political outsiders who helped propel 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to a massive Democratic primary upset and into the national spotlight. Washington Post, "Behind Ocasio-Cortez’s upset victory, an unconventional crew," 7 July 2018 The first that thrust her into the national spotlight was the disappearance of 5-year-old Rilya Wilson in 2001. Adiel Kaplan, miamiherald, "She struck down gay adoption ban and handled notorious juvenile cases. Now she's retiring.," 3 July 2018 Libby Magnone of Wauconda has a unique gift that has earned her a moment in the national television spotlight. Yadira Sanchez Olson, Lake County News-Sun, "Junior logroller from Wauconda showcasing her skills on 'Little Big Shots'," 27 June 2018 Rauner typically has shied away from the national political spotlight and has offered only vague mentions of talks with federal officials when asked to comment on national political issues such as immigration. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Morning Spin: Rauner was in Washington awaiting decision in major labor case before Supreme Court," 26 June 2018 The President’s use of his massive social media platform to target the restaurant further puts the small business in the national spotlight and at the center of a debate of what, when and how private businesses can refuse to serve a customer. Jennifer Calfas, Time, "Trump Slams Restaurant That Refused Service to Sarah Huckabee Sanders as ‘Filthy’ and ‘Dirty’," 25 June 2018 Immigrant Heritage Week, which is celebrated in several other states, comes as immigrant-rights issues are thrust into the national spotlight. Faith E. Pinho, Indianapolis Star, "Immigrant-rights advocates: 'Hoosier hospitality means that we keep families together'," 25 June 2018 The UW-Madison campus reeled in the national spotlight as details emerged after Cook's October 2016 arrest. Karen Herzog, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Parents of Alec Cook, former UW-Madison student convicted of sexual assaults, say they believe his accusers, ask for redemption," 19 June 2018 Scalise, who has moved quickly up the leadership ladder, has been in the national spotlight since last summer, after he was nearly killed during a shooting at a congressional charity baseball practice. Deborah Barfield Berry, USA TODAY, "Rep. Steve Scalise vows not to run against Kevin McCarthy for House speaker," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In total, 75 characters will be spotlighted, each one with a portrait from a group of female and non-binary artists. Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "Cantina Talk: That Big Solo Cameo Was a Last-Minute Decision," 4 June 2018 Project Homeless is a Seattle Times initiative that explores the causes of homelessness, explains what the Seattle region is doing about it and spotlights potential solutions. Scott Greenstone, The Seattle Times, "This tiny house village allows drugs. Should it have been put in a high drug-traffic area?," 24 Apr. 2018 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

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

20 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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