put (something) into sharp relief

put (something) into sharp relief

1. To cause something to stand out sharply or be vividly visible or noticeable. Often used in passive constructions. We use light pastel colors on the walls to put the artwork into sharp relief. The unique architecture of the building was put into sharp relief by the plain green fields surrounding it. The intermittent flashes of lightning put the imposing mountain peak into sharp relief.
2. To cause something to become extremely conspicuous, apparent, or noticeable. The recent national strikes have once again put the issue of unpaid overtime into sharp relief. It's amazing how someone's absence can suddenly put your love for them into such sharp relief. The new manager's conviction and sense of purpose really puts into sharp relief just how useless our last boss was.
See also: put, relief, sharp
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