Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An apparatus containing a light source and a reflector for projecting a high-intensity beam of approximately parallel rays of light.
  • n. The beam of light so projected.
  • n. A flashlight.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A light source that projects a bright beam of light in any direction.
  • n. The light from the above source.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An apparatus for projecting a powerful beam of light of approximately parallel rays, usually devised so that it can be swiveled about.
  • n. The beam of light projecting by this apparatus.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An electric arc-light having a lens or reflector, mounted on shipboard or on land on a vertical axis in such a way that the beam of light may be made to traverse in a horizontal path.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a light source with reflectors that projects a beam of light in a particular direction

Etymologies

From search + light (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Richard Nixon's Secret Service code name...

    November 15, 2008

  • The searchlight metaphor: The greater swath the searchlight penetrates, the greater is the circumference of the unknown. So, the more we know, the more we don't know.

    November 9, 2008