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spotlight

[spot-lahyt] /ˈspɒtˌlaɪt/
noun
1.
a strong, focused light thrown upon a particular spot, as on a small area of a stage or in a television studio, for making some object, person, or group especially conspicuous.
2.
a lamp for producing such a light.
3.
a brilliant light with a focused beam, mounted on the side of an automobile and used for illuminating objects not within range of the headlights.
4.
the area of immediate or conspicuous public attention:
Asia is in the spotlight now.
verb (used with object), spotlighted or spotlit, spotlighting.
5.
to direct the beam of a spotlight upon; light with a spotlight.
6.
to make conspicuous; call attention to:
Newspapers spotlighted the story for a week.
7.
to hunt (animals) using a spotlight in order to temporarily blind or confuse them.
verb (used without object), spotlighted or spotlit, spotlighting.
8.
to hunt by using a spotlight.
Origin
1910-1915
1910-15; spot + light1
Related forms
spotlighter, noun
unspotlighted, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for spotlight
  • Lanza and his company have had plenty of experience in the spotlight, but the attention has not always been flattering.
  • It took champions, in and out of the spotlight, to bring these food cultures the respect and attention they deserve.
  • When it comes to focus, turning on the spotlight may not matter as much as our ability to dim the ambient light.
  • Do spotlight him again when he has some beautiful feathers.
  • Our boatman scans the shoreline with a powerful spotlight.
  • After a single exposure to the spotlight, actin crept toward spots that touched adjacent neurons, but soon receded.
  • The results of the new study also put social-science research under the spotlight.
  • In the suddenly zooming story of electric cars, it's the cars themselves that have tended to hog the spotlight.
  • Later in the week, for-profit colleges will find themselves back in the spotlight.
  • If you shine a spotlight on one, it will sidle off to somewhere darker.
British Dictionary definitions for spotlight

spotlight

/ˈspɒtˌlaɪt/
noun
1.
a powerful light focused so as to illuminate a small area, usually mounted so that it can be directed at will
2.
the spotlight, the focus of attention
verb (transitive) -lights, -lighting, -lit, -lighted
3.
to direct a spotlight on
4.
to focus attention on
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 spotlight
n.

1904, from spot (n.) + light (n.). Originally a theatrical equipment; figurative sense is attested from 1916. The verb is first recorded 1923.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for spotlight

sport-ute

noun

: There's about as much sport in most sport-utility trucks as there is in a professional wrestling match. Isuzu is doing its part to change this. Its sportute, the Trooper, is sporty (1990s+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with spotlight
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for spotlight

device used to produce intense illumination in a well-defined area in stage, film, television, ballet, and opera production. It resembles a small searchlight but usually has shutters, an iris diaphragm, and adjustable lenses to shape the projected light. Coloured light is produced by a mechanism for sliding or rotating coloured gelatin filters, called gels even though later made of acetate, into the beam. The first theatrical spotlight was the limelight (q.v.), which gave way to such light sources as the arc, electric discharge, and incandescent lamp. The practical lensed spotlight was developed in 1879 by Louis Hartmann of the United States.

Learn more about spotlight with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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15
17
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