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in the limelight

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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.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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