|a comforting or hopeful aspect of an otherwise desperate or unhappy situation (esp in the phrase every cloud has a silver lining)|
|an arrangement of five objects, as trees, in a square or rectangle, one at each corner and one in the middle.|
|a screen or mat covered with a dark material for shielding a camera lens from excess light or glare.|
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."