Definition of limelight in English:



  • 1the limelightThe focus of public attention.

    ‘the shock win has thrust him into the limelight’
    • ‘You crave attention, the limelight, and the fawning admiration of millions.’
    • ‘Horton was a national hero who had pushed into the limelight the Submarine Service and gained media attention.’
    • ‘I think there is a window of opportunity while the issue is still in the limelight.’
    • ‘Sometimes people in the public limelight after a few marriages go off and get married.’
    • ‘The oldies hog the limelight, leaving the modern beauties crying for attention.’
    • ‘As that group of teenagers continue to hog the limelight, Doumbe is relieved to be emerging from the shadows.’
    • ‘While Wilkinson has been shunning the limelight, Dawson is relishing the attention that has been lavished on him.’
    • ‘He said the company wished to avoid the limelight because of the public's negative perception of big oil.’
    • ‘She has long been used to the limelight, thanks to her worldwide fame during the 1960s.’
    • ‘The other two, by contrast, sometimes come over as the Don Kings of rugby, such is their desire to hog the limelight.’
    • ‘He admits that he is quite the showman and that he now has to vent his love of the limelight in public speaking engagements.’
    • ‘The cases he has taken on and won have propelled him into the public limelight.’
    • ‘Fashion has turned the clock back to the Eighties, bringing gold, sequins and bold patterns back into the limelight.’
    • ‘These are people who are already famous or rich enough not to have to hog the limelight.’
    • ‘But there is no easy exit from the public limelight for Cullen, now the transport minister.’
    • ‘But this is more a case of a junior minister trying to hog the limelight and getting frazzled through idiocy.’
    • ‘He wants to hog the limelight and shout about what he believes, and to do that you have to be populist, brash and confident.’
    • ‘There are plenty of celebrities who own racehorses but many avoid the limelight by keeping their name out of the racecards.’
    • ‘Similarly, Nilambur continues to hog the limelight when it comes to earthenware.’
    • ‘Surely the film crews are more deserving of the limelight with their technological expertise and patience with the stars.’
    the focus of attention, public attention, public notice, public interest, the public eye, media attention, media interest
    View synonyms
  • 2Intense white light obtained by heating lime, formerly used in theatres.


  • steal (or hog) the limelight

    • informal Draw the focus of attention to oneself at the expense of others.

      ‘she's careful not to steal the limelight’
      • ‘His delightful bride stole the limelight as she looked simply magnificent as she strolled up the aisle in St Mary's Cathedral.’
      • ‘He has admitted harbouring ill-feelings towards his former co-star who, he claims, has a huge ego and hogged the limelight.’
      • ‘A girl in a particularly pretty blue bonnet was dumped at the end of the catwalk by an over-confident boy who was determined to hog the limelight.’
      • ‘He made her tone it down so she would not steal the limelight.’
      • ‘His international household name status meant that he hogged the limelight.’
      • ‘Olga, the Giant Pacific Octopus, is stealing the limelight at the popular aquatic centre.’