an important or influential person: a leading light of the community.
Origin of leading light
First recorded in 1870–75
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for leading light
an important or outstanding person, esp in an organization or cause
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Idioms and Phrases with leading light
An important or influential individual, as in Jim was a leading light in his community. This expression, alluding to moral guidance, dates from about 1870, but terms such as a shining light have been used for an outstanding person since the first half of the 1500s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
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