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in the spotlight

1. Fig. in the beam of a spotlight, as on a stage. The singer was in the spotlight but the band was almost in the dark.
2. and in the limelight Fig. at the center of attention. (Limelight refers to an obsolete type of spotlight, and the word occurs only in this phrase.) John will do almost anything to get himself into the limelight. I love being in the spotlight. All elected officials spend a lot of time in the limelight.
See also: spotlight

steal the spotlight

 and steal the show Fig.
to give the best performance in a show, play, or some other event; to get attention for oneself. The lead in the play was very good, but the butler stole the show. Ann always tries to steal the spotlight when she and I make a presentation.
See also: spotlight, steal

steal the show

to get all the attention and praise at an event or performance She has a small part, but she steals the show from the lead actors.
See also: show, steal

put a spotlight on somebody/something

to direct attention to someone or something The newspaper articles put a spotlight on the bad condition of our school buildings.
Related vocabulary: shed light on something
See also: on, put, spotlight

be in the spotlight

  (mainly American)
to get attention and interest from the public I always assumed she liked being in the spotlight. (mainly American)
See also: spotlight

steal the show

to get all the attention and praise at an event or performance All the singers were good, but 16-year-old Karine stole the show.
See also: show, steal

in the limelight

Also, in the spotlight. At the center of public attention or notoriety. For example, John loves being in the limelight, or The reporters made sure the attractive new actress would be in the spotlight. Both terms come from the theater and allude to focusing light on an important person, the first from a lighting device used from about 1840 on, the second from the early 1900s. Also see in the public eye; steal the show.
See also: limelight

steal the show

Also, steal the spotlight. Be the center of attention, as in The speeches were interesting but Eliza's singing stole the show. This idiom alludes to unexpectedly outshining the rest of the cast in a theatrical production. [First half of 1900s]
See also: show, steal