Meaning of limelight


To be in the limelight is to be at the center of public attention. It might make you a little jealous if your best friend’s acting career suddenly puts her in the limelight.

When a newly popular musician finds himself in the limelight, he might be surprised at all the attention. Someone who’s in the limelight is constantly being talked about, interviewed, and photographed. In the early 1800’s, theater stages were lit by heating a cylinder of the mineral called lime — the result was an intensely bright white light. The word limelight came to have its figurative meaning of “at the center of attention” in 1877.

Definitions of limelight
  1. noun

    a focus of public attention

    “he enjoyed being in the

    glare, public eye, spotlight

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    type of:


    the state of being prominent: widely known or eminent

  2. noun

    a lamp consisting of a flame directed at a cylinder of lime with a lens to concentrate the light; formerly used for stage lighting


    calcium light

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    type of:


    an artificial source of visible illumination

Word Family

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