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leading light

[lee-ding] /ˈli dɪŋ/
noun
1.
an important or influential person:
a leading light of the community.
Origin of leading light
1870-1875
1870-75
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for leading light
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Phil May was a leading light of the society, and the grimy and bedaubed plaster laughed with his conceits at every turn.

  • Then the leading light in the Tenth Baptist Church turned to the remorse-stricken man again.

    Bats in the Wall P. T. Raymond
  • For a time I stumbled and walked in darkness but the leading light is clearer now.

    Blacksheep! Blacksheep! Meredith Nicholson
  • The leading light now answered better to her helm, and, heading up a point, reached well into the bay.

    Labrador Days Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
  • Though every moment he was expecting the leading light to make her last long dive, his courage never for a second deserted him.

    Labrador Days Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
  • She was the leading light and was always ready and willing to assist in any good work.

    Collection of Nebraska Pioneer Reminiscences Nebraska Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution
  • This recalls to my mind a story which Gye once told me about a leading light of this Society who was on a visit to Egypt.

    With the Zionists in Gallipoli John Henry Patterson
  • McColl was a most interesting personality, a leading light on matters occult, and a famous recounter of ghost stories.

    Ghosts I Have Seen Violet Tweedale
  • One of them, the leading light of the local Nationalist party, is rated at £8.

    Ireland as It Is Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
British Dictionary definitions for leading light

leading light

/ˈliːdɪŋ/
noun
1.
an important or outstanding person, esp in an organization or cause
2.
(nautical) a less common term for range light
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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Idioms and Phrases with leading light

leading light

An important or influential individual, as in Jim was a leading light in his community. This expression, alluding to moral guidance, dates from about 1870, but terms such as a shining light have been used for an outstanding person since the first half of the 1500s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Difficulty index for leading light

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Word Value for leading

9
12
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