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  1. Olenek's Avatar
    Junior Member
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    at the centre of attention


    There are some idioms with the sense "at the centre of attention":

    To hold court (humorous),
    To be in the public eye,
    To be in the spotlight,
    To be in the limelight

    (Limelight was a glaringly white light yielded when heating lime in an oxyhydrogen flame. The process was discovered in 1826 by Thomas Drummond, a Scots military engineer and surveyor, who used limelight in measuring distances when making maps. The invention was soon adapted for use in lighthouses, and later in film projection and the theatre, where it became a precursor of the spotlight)

    What is in the limelight? meaning and definition

    Are these phrases common in your country?
    Do you know other idioms with the same sense?

    Many Thanks for all your answers!

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    Retired English Teacher
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    Re: at the centre of attention

    My thoughts:

    The first strikes me as rather uncommon, and has more of an idea of entertaining, lecturing, pontificating. The person holding court is the centre of attention, but actively.

    if you are in the public eye, you probably are, or have become, simply a well-known figure. So, royalty, politicians, actors, footballers, etc are in the public eye.

    If you are in/under the spotlight, the attention is more temporary. Price William is always in the public eye, but his coming marriage has put the spotlight on him and Kate Middleton. Being in the limelight is similar to this.

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