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silver lining

a sign of hope in an unfortunate or gloomy situation; a bright prospect:
Every cloud has a silver lining.
Origin of silver lining
1870-75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for silver lining
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If a dark cloud at present hangs over the Bombay Army, here at least is the "silver lining" amid the general gloom.

  • The cloud had no silver lining, but I trust that it will be all silver in heaven.

    Behind the Scenes Elizabeth Keckley
  • Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud Turn forth her silver lining on the night?

  • Was there a silver lining to the cloud that was floating around him?

    The Silver Lining John Roussel
  • I have never been one to take the more melancholy point of view when there's a silver lining to the cloud.

British Dictionary definitions for silver lining

silver lining

a comforting or hopeful aspect of an otherwise desperate or unhappy situation (esp in the phrase every cloud has a silver lining)
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 silver lining

a "bright side" which proverbially accompanies even the darkest trouble; by 1843, apparently from oft-quoted lines from Milton's "Comus," where the silver lining is the light of the moon shining from behind the cloud.

Was I deceived? or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err, there does a sable cloud,
Turn out her silver lining on the night
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.
To which Thomas Warton added the commentary: "When all succour ſeems to be lost, Heaven unexpectedly presents the ſilver lining oſ a ſable cloud to the virtuous."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with silver lining

silver lining

An element of hope or a redeeming quality in an otherwise bad situation, as in The rally had a disappointing turnout, but the silver lining was that those who came pledged a great deal of money. This metaphoric term is a shortening of Every cloud has a silver lining, in turn derived from John Milton's Comus (1634): “A sable cloud turns forth its silver lining on the night.”
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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