throw (something) into sharp relief

throw (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 throw the artwork into sharp relief. The unique architecture of the building was thrown into sharp relief by the plain green fields surrounding it. The intermittent flashes of lightning threw 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 thrown the issue of unpaid overtime into sharp relief. It's amazing how someone's absence can suddenly throw your love for them into such sharp relief. The new manager's conviction and sense of purpose really throws into sharp relief just how useless our last boss was.
See also: relief, sharp, throw
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

throw something into sharp relief

Fig. [for something] to make something plainly evident or clearly visible. The dull, plain background threw the ornate settee into sharp relief. The red vase was thrown into sharp relief against the black background.
See also: relief, sharp, throw
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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