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in the limelight

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
The American HeritageĀ® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright Ā© 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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