Definition of spotlight in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈspɒtlʌɪt/


1A lamp projecting a narrow, intense beam of light directly on to a place or person, especially a performer on stage.
Example sentences
  • When the stage is dimmed, spotlights are used to create a tight arc of light in which Roberts and Corbert perform.
  • For two evenings in December, Camelo was performed, with stage drapes and a spotlight, in the window of the New Museum before the holiday shoppers bustling up and down Broadway.
  • A new computerized light sculpture consisted of a bank of nine stage spotlights.
1.1A beam of light projected from a spotlight: the knife flashed in the spotlight
More example sentences
  • They part to reveal a man hanging upside down from a wall upstage, and a woman, standing in a spotlight down stage, reaching out to him.
  • The couple is now shown doing the same dance they introduced 45-odd years ago and it looks really embarrassing, particularly as they have to perform in a spotlight in front of some sort of silly logo.
  • Though she is speaking, Marlowe is in the spotlight.
1.2 (the spotlight) Intense scrutiny or public attention: she was constantly in the media spotlight
More example sentences
  • Instead of stepping out of the spotlight, she offers herself up for intensive scrutiny, delving into her own foibles and failures with astonishing candour.
  • It's rare to see many people share the spotlight together.
  • Both Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey have remained in the spotlight more for their personal problems than for their singing.
the public eye, the glare of publicity, the limelight;
the focus of public attention/interest, the focus of media attention/interest

verb (past and past participle spotlighted or spotlit)

[with object]
1Illuminate with a spotlight: the dancers are spotlighted from time to time throughout the evening
More example sentences
  • Pronto, stage left, a gent in impeccable evening attire, his face spotlit, appears.
  • One scene shot at night spotlights a cluster of ordinary folk near a stand of trees; from bare branches dangle two refrigerators, each suspended from a rope.
  • He wrapped the rotunda in a translucent scrim, thus transforming the ramp of Frank Lloyd Wright's building into a tunnel, within which the individual garments were dramatically spotlit.
1.1Direct attention to (a problem or situation): the protest spotlighted the overcrowding in British prisons
More example sentences
  • This was the first of several films that Capra would make spotlighting the plight of the common man overcoming the deception and greed of the rich fat cats.
  • As one might expect, this collection spotlights the massive amount of work that took place before the cameras even began rolling.
  • The national fight to curtail factory hog operations and support sustainable approaches to pork production will be spotlighted at a national Hog Summit in mid-2003.
focus attention on, highlight, point up, draw/call attention to, foreground, accentuate, accent, make conspicuous, underline, underscore, give prominence to, throw into relief, turn the spotlight on, bring to the fore, bring home;

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: spot|light

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.