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limelight

[lahym-lahyt] /ˈlaɪmˌlaɪt/
noun
1.
Theater.
  1. (formerly) a lighting unit for spotlighting the front of the stage, producing illumination by means of a flame of mixed gases directed at a cylinder of lime and having a special lens for concentrating the light in a strong beam.
  2. the light so produced.
  3. Chiefly British. a lighting unit, especially a spotlight.
2.
the center of public attention, interest, observation, or notoriety:
He seems fond of the limelight.
Origin
1820-1830
1820-30; lime1 + light1
Related forms
limelighter, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for limelight
  • Macy has no skill in vaudeville tricks to call attention to himself: no shafts of limelight have followed him across the stage.
  • He isn't curmudgeonly about all the attention, by any means, but he is clearly more comfortable out of the limelight.
  • The moon may be shrinking, but it's still a big enough ball of fun to warrant its own night in the limelight.
  • Selling has been in the limelight and buying has occupied the dark background.
  • Its the ones who need to get out before the house of cards collapses who seek the limelight.
  • It's clear that he also missed the limelight his heroic feats had earlier won him.
  • At home excuses are rustled up to keep him in the limelight.
  • But the skills that she perfected behind the scenes seem to be far less effective when they are practised in the limelight.
  • Many vibrant, purely private companies have sprung up despite this uncertainty, but take care to stay out of the limelight.
  • Hedge funds have also slipped out of the limelight somewhat since last summer.
British Dictionary definitions for limelight

limelight

/ˈlaɪmˌlaɪt/
noun
1.
the limelight, a position of public attention or notice (esp in the phrase in the limelight)
2.
  1. a type of lamp, formerly used in stage lighting, in which light is produced by heating lime to white heat
  2. Also called calcium light. brilliant white light produced in this way
Derived Forms
limelighter, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for limelight
n.

1826, popular name for Drummond light, a brilliant light created by the incandescence of lime (n.1); adopted for lighthouses and later for the Victorian stage, where it illuminated the principal actors, hence the figurative sense of "on stage, at the center of attention" (1877).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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15
18
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