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[foo t-lahyt] /ˈfʊtˌlaɪt/
Usually, footlights. Theater. the lights at the front of a stage that are nearly on a level with the feet of the performers.
the footlights, the stage; acting profession.
Origin of footlight
First recorded in 1830-40; foot + light1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for footlights
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But when the footlights are on and the limes are lit, you'd be surprised to see how fine it looks.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • Instead of screening him I had dragged him in front of the footlights.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • Bton in hand, he was bowing from his place before the footlights.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • He noticed it and became abashed—he, the hero of a hundred footlights.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • His face was in the sideway glare of the footlights which illumined the orchestra.

    An Old Meerschaum David Christie Murray
  • I could tell that by the buzz that came over the footlights.

    Shorty McCabe Sewell Ford
  • The curtain is your background, while the footlights may stand for the surface of your wood.

    Wood-Carving George Jack
British Dictionary definitions for footlights


plural noun (theatre)
lights set in a row along the front of the stage floor and shielded on the audience side
(informal) the acting profession; the stage
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for footlights

1836, from foot (of the stage) + light (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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