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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The blockbuster trade of Beckham shook the NFL and thrust the Browns further into the spotlight with four prime-time games this season. Los Angeles Times, "AFC North preview: Odell Beckham and Browns have high expectations," 3 Sep. 2019 But a deadly shooting rampage on Feb. 14, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County brought the possibility of imposing such a ban into the spotlight again. Ana Ceballos, sun-sentinel.com, "Florida assault weapons registry would come at a $4 million cost," 3 Sep. 2019 But events like this takes the shame away and brings this all into the spotlight. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "Loved ones gather at state Capitol to bring awareness to overdose deaths," 1 Sep. 2019 The backup quarterback role gained some clarity, a mostly unknown wide receiver broke into the spotlight and reserve defenders flexed their strength in a first-half shutout. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Broncos’ preseason comes to close with victory over Cardinals," 29 Aug. 2019 And that was instrumental in helping her prepare to step into the spotlight at the 2019 Women’s World Cup this summer. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive.com, "National Women’s Soccer League has played key role in U.S. Women’s National Team’s continued dominance," 14 Aug. 2019 Revenge dressing really came into the spotlight when Princess Diana famously wore a strapless black dress on the same night Prince Charles publicly admitted to cheating on her. Tatum Dooley, Teen Vogue, "The 8 Best Celebrity Breakup Looks," 13 Aug. 2019 The quality of players like Krieger along with other U.S. women’s national team standouts and European players who play at an international level has brought the league into the spotlight. Luis Torres, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando Pride star Ali Krieger rips referees, NWSL following loss to Houston," 12 Aug. 2019 Step into the spotlight and make your voice heard and your actions count. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, "Horoscopes: Aug. 12, 2019," 12 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the meantime, the show should find a way to spotlight Reggie Bush. Jacob Feldman, SI.com, "How Three College Football TV Debuts Fared During Week 1," 3 Sep. 2019 Bravo to the Chicago Jazz Festival for continuing to spotlight high school jazz ensembles during the big event. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "What not to miss as Jazz Fest gets into full swing this weekend," 29 Aug. 2019 The latter gave me the opportunity to spotlight some of the local mom-and-pop establishments in Northeast Ohio that are sometimes overlooked. Greg Burnett, cleveland.com, "Calling All Readers: Cleveland native wants to share life and culture of this city," 17 Aug. 2019 That the former pro quarterback was missing from the meeting only seemed to spotlight the chasm that the league still refuses to confront. Jason Parham, WIRED, "Depth of Field: Where Is Jay-Z Taking the NFL?," 15 Aug. 2019 What better way to spotlight the work of charities than six celebrities and two monarchs having a go at each other on the high seas? Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton and Prince William Will Be Joined By So Many Celebs at The King's Cup," 2 Aug. 2019 But director Mike Flanagan’s decision to spotlight a deaf protagonist puts a terrifying new spin on the home invasion premise that makes this straight-to-Netflix fright fest a worthy watch. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "The 10 Best Horror Movies on Netflix to Stream Right Now," 30 July 2019 According to a press release, the show is set to spotlight 80 of the donations, tracing the trajectory of 20th-century French and American couture while simultaneously exploring how Schreier amassed her impressive collection. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Couture Covering 96 Years of Fashion Is Coming to the Met’s Costume Institute," 24 July 2019 Putin also hosts an annual forum there meant to spotlight his country's economic pivot to Asia. Nathan Hodge, CNN, "Putin and Xi test a budding military alliance in the Pacific -- and step up confrontation," 23 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of spotlight

Noun

1904, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1907, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about spotlight

Dictionary Entries near spotlight

spot lamp

spot lens

spotless

spotlight

spotlighter

spotlike

spot line

Statistics for spotlight

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spotlight

The first known use of spotlight was in 1904

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on spotlight

What made you want to look up spotlight? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

concealment of treason or felony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!