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

Considering his behavior over the past three years, the only certainty is that Antonio Brown will remain in a white-hot spotlight of his own creation. Robert Klemko, SI.com, "There’s More History to Antonio Brown’s History," 16 Sep. 2019 Netanyahu glowed in the spotlight of Trump's decisions. Oren Liebermann, CNN, "Trump may no longer be the gift that keeps on giving for Netanyahu," 16 Sep. 2019 Barring a contrary ruling from the full Second Circuit or emergency intervention by the Supreme Court, the case will soon move forward—and Mr Trump’s finances and potential conflicts of interest could be thrust into the public spotlight. S.m. | New York, The Economist, "An appeals court revives an emoluments-clause lawsuit against Donald Trump," 16 Sep. 2019 Quessenberry’s touchdown wasn’t enough to beat the Colts, who won 19-17, but seeing the NFL spotlight on the lineman wearing No. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: TD catch by cancer survivor Quessenberry tops Week 2 NFL-San Diego highlights," 16 Sep. 2019 Those internal negotiations are now in the spotlight following revelations that top MIT officials approved donations from Jeffrey Epstein even after he was convicted of soliciting a minor for prostitution in 2008. BostonGlobe.com, "Soon an unidentified employee wrote back.," 15 Sep. 2019 This was Clapton in his comfort zone, graciously sharing the spotlight with his sidemen, including guitarist Doyle Bramhall II and the great Paul Carrack, whose organ work was never less than stunning. Ed Masley, azcentral, "Concert review: Eric Clapton reminds us what 'Clapton is God' was all about in Phoenix," 15 Sep. 2019 The styles include regular lamp bulbs, spotlight bulbs for recessed ceiling canister lights, bathroom vanity globes and candle-style bulbs. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "Glastonbury TALK environmental committee to host sustainable living fest Saturday," 12 Sep. 2019 Putting it all back together, after the phone stops ringing and the spotlight fades. Rob Long, National Review, "FIREDCON 2019!," 12 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The challenges ahead for Johnson’s opponents prevailing via the legal system were spotlighted by a quick defeat on Friday, when a Scottish court rejected one such attempt to halt the suspension immediately. Michael Birnbaum, BostonGlobe.com, "Former British leader joins bid to derail shuttering of Parliament amid Brexit crisis," 30 Aug. 2019 At least 25 nation were spotlighted in a June 2018 study by the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "Costa Rica: 25 dead from drinking tainted alcohol, 59 affected: What you need to know," 19 Aug. 2019 Todd Haley, the Browns offensive coordinator last summer, was spotlighted in a meeting engaged in a heated exchange with Kitchens (then running backs coach). Gary Peterson, The Mercury News, "A late, great NFL reporter delivers one last gem, a ‘Hard Knocks’ primer for the Raiders," 5 Aug. 2019 Shimmery, reflected light from the glass beads is powered by strong exhibition spotlights in the ceiling overhead. Los Angeles Times, "Review: In Mary Corse’s light paintings at LACMA, some shadows," 5 Aug. 2019 Since then, that achievement has been spotlighted in countless books, TV shows, documentaries and feature films. NBC News, "Apollo 11: Eleven things you never knew about NASA's landmark moon mission," 14 July 2019 The ensuing criminal case spotlighted racial injustice in the legal system and now has compelled viewers to reach for their wallets and give to groups standing up for the wrongfully convicted. Elizabeth Hernandez, The Denver Post, "CU’s Korey Wise Innocence Project sees boost in donations in wake of “When They See Us” series on Central Park Five," 29 June 2019 Holmes, the final journalist spotlighted in the exhibition, photographed celebrities including Pollock, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland, Eleanor Roosevelt, Salvador Dali and Joan Fontaine. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "‘Life’ Magazine’s Earliest Women Photojournalists Step Into Spotlight," 28 June 2019 South Florida flavor was spotlighted with a pleasingly sweet-hot mango chicken curry ($17.95). Michael Mayo, sun-sentinel.com, "Review: Bombay Darbar brings some new flavor (Indian) to Las Olas," 13 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

20 Oct 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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