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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


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  • In the lurch

    see: leave someone in the lurch

  • In the middle of

    1. Also, in the midst of . During, while engaged in, as in He stopped him in the middle of his speech , or I’m in the midst of calculating my income tax . The first expression dates from about 1600, the second from about 1500. Also see in the midst 2. in the middle […]

  • In the midst

    1. Also, in one’s midst. Surrounded by, among, as in I saw a familiar face in the midst of the crowd, or To think there was a Nobel Prize winner in our midst! [ c. 1500s ] 2. See in the middle of , def. 1.

  • In the mood

    Disposed or inclined toward something, as in I’m in the mood for a good long walk. This phrase is also put in the negative, I’m not in the mood to argue. [ Late 1500s ]

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