throw 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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References in periodicals archive ?
But they also throw into sharp relief the big challenge: ensuring that local people are skilled for and able to access these jobs.
The floods throw into sharp relief the need for international action on climate, campaigners say, urging countries meeting in Paris for international talks on a new global warming deal to secure an ambitious agreement to avoid dangerous climate change.
Kath Murray, a researcher in stop and search at the University of Edinburgh, said: "These figures throw into sharp relief the remarkable allocation of resources to a policy which lacks a credible evidence base.
Lydia Prieg, researcher at the New Economics Foundation, said: "These figures throw into sharp relief the privileged position of the big banks.
We've had great successes in recent years, but the economic crisis is sure to throw into sharp relief the extant flaws in our social safety net.
A surefire, guaranteed way to not only throw into sharp relief all your shortcomings and weaknesses, but then make you hate yourself for not being able to improve on them in the space of a week.
Yet slicing history in this non-rational way also allows us to take it, in a sense, unawares--to see parallels and coincidences that were never quite apparent before, to throw into sharp relief the hidden forces of change that we sense are there behind medieval history but never quite see.
It is very easy for Gwen and Augustus John to become caricatures, especially if one is used to throw into sharp relief the artistic and psychological extremes of the other.
These issues throw into sharp relief the policy challenges which this and future governments face.
The Budget will throw into sharp relief the differences between the main political parties - with the Conservatives arguing that pouring in billions of pounds will not save a state-funded NHS.