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See more synonyms for searchlight on Thesaurus.com
  1. a device, usually consisting of a light and reflector, for throwing a beam of light in any direction.
  2. a beam of light so thrown.
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Origin of searchlight

First recorded in 1880–85; search + light1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for searchlight


  1. a device, consisting of a light source and a reflecting surface behind it, that projects a powerful beam of light in a particular direction
  2. the beam of light produced by such a device
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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

Word Origin and History for searchlight


also search-light, 1882, from search (v.) + light (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper