In the limelight


      • being the center of attention
        Describing someone who is the main focus of public interest or scrutiny, usually in a positive or glamorous light

      • being exposed or scrutinized
        Referring to being in a position of public visibility, often in a critical or vulnerable way

      • being in a prominent or prestigious position
        Signifying being in a position of fame, success, or importance, often in a competitive or challenging environment

    Examples of In the limelight

    • The actress has been in the limelight ever since she won the Best Actress award at the Academy Awards.

      This idiom is used to describe someone who is receiving a lot of attention and publicity, especially in the entertainment industry. The phrase "in the limelight" refers to being in the center of attention, just as a spotlight shines brightly on the stage.

    • The scandal has kept the politician in the limelight for weeks, with the media constantly asking for his comment.

      In this example, the politician is being closely watched and scrutinized by the media because of a scandal. The idiom "in the limelight" highlights the fact that he is now a prominent figure in the news.

    • The singer's latest album has put her back in the limelight, with critics praising her musical comeback.

      This example shows how someone can regain popularity and publicity after a period of absence or decline. The idiom "back in the limelight" emphasizes the singer's renewed prominence in the music industry.

    • The athlete's impressive performance at the Olympics has kept her in the limelight, with fans eagerly anticipating her next move.

      This example illustrates how a person's talent and achievements can earn them lasting attention and admiration. The idiom "in the limelight" suggests that the athlete's reputation has been enhanced by her Olympic success.

    • The celebrity couple's breakup has put them both in the limelight, with the media speculating about the reasons behind their split.

      This example shows how a personal event, such as a breakup, can attract a lot of attention and scrutiny. The idiom "in the limelight" highlights the fact that the couple's relationship has become a topic of interest for the media and the public.


    The idiom "in the limelight" is commonly used to describe someone who is the center of attention or in a position of public visibility. It can also refer to someone who is in a prestigious or competitive position. Overall, the phrase conveys a sense of being in the spotlight or under scrutiny.

    Origin of "In the limelight"

    The phrase "in the limelight" originated in the theater world in the 19th century. Limelight was a type of stage lighting that used a flame to heat a piece of lime and produce a bright light. This technology was first used in the 1820s and quickly became the standard for stage lighting. Actors or performers who were in the center of the stage, and therefore under the bright limelight, were the main focus of the audience's attention.

    Over time, the phrase "in the limelight" became synonymous with being the center of attention. It was first used figuratively in a 1867 article in the New York Times, describing a politician who was in the "political limelight." Since then, the idiom has been used in various contexts to convey being in the spotlight or under scrutiny.

    In modern usage, the idiom has evolved to refer not just to being the center of attention, but also being in a position of prestige or fame. This could be attributed to the cultural influence of the entertainment industry, where being in the limelight often signifies success and status. Overall, the idiom "in the limelight" continues to be a commonly used phrase in both literal and figurative contexts, conveying the idea of being in a prominent or visible position.