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A person who is well-respected and viewed as important to a group. As a leading light of the human rights organization, he helped improve working conditions for millions of people around the world.
An important or influential individual, as in Jim was a leading light in his community. This expression, alluding to moral guidance, dates from about 1870, but terms such as a shining light have been used for an outstanding person since the first half of the 1500s.
a leading lightmainly BRITISH
COMMON If someone is a leading light of an organization or group, they are one of the most important, active, and successful people in it. He is a leading light in the campaign to rid football of racism. She had been a leading light in the amateur dramatic society in Kuala Lumpur. Note: A leading light was a light which was placed at the entrance to a harbour or shallow channel of water, as a guide for ships.