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be in the spotlight
1. Literally, to be positioned in a beam of light, typically while performing onstage. The director assured me that I would be in the spotlight for my solo.
2. By extension, to be the center of attention. My sister loves being in the spotlight, but I get really nervous on stage. Once news of this scandal breaks, our company will be in the spotlight for months.
put a spotlight on (someone or something)
To focus on or bring attention to someone or something. The article puts a spotlight on the need for government investment in public utilities and infrastructure. We're trying to put a spotlight on students who have made important contributions to the community.
shine a spotlight on (someone or something)
To focus on or bring attention to someone or something. The article shines a spotlight on the need for government investment in public utilities and infrastructure. We're trying to shine a spotlight on students who have made important contributions to the community.
steal the show
To become the main focus of attention or deliver the most captivating performance in the presence of one or more others, typically unexpectedly. The opening band totally stole the show tonight—they were amazing. I'm sorry, I was trying to listen to your speech, but your adorable little sister stole the show when she came prancing out here.
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.
steal the spotlightand 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.
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]
steal the show
COMMON If someone or something in a show or other event steals the show, they are more impressive or amusing than anyone or anything else and, as a result, get more attention or praise. All three singers gave impressive performances but it was Domingo who stole the show. It's Jack Lemmon who finally steals the show, turning in his finest performance in years. Note: You can describe someone or something that gets more attention than other people or things as a show-stealer. The show-stealer at Citywalk, however, isn't some Hollywood megastar, but a giant gorilla that hangs like King Kong from the front of the store.