Light at the end of the tunnel might seem like a cliche phrase, but only a few people know its true meaning. This phrase is an idiomatic expression, which means its definition should not be taken literally.
Read on to know the meaning of light at the end of the tunnel. I also provided examples of how to use this idiom in a sentence so you can too.
What Does the Expression “Light at the End of the Tunnel” Mean?
A light at the end of the tunnel is an idiomatic expression because we use its figurative meaning over the literal one. This phrase refers to an object, person, or situation that gives someone a reason to believe that a bad situation is ending.
Seeing the lights at the end of a tunnel means you have seen something or someone that gives you some kind of hope for the future after a long time of experiencing difficulty. It is a good sign that something beautiful is happening.
The phrase comes from the idea of being in a pitch-black tunnel and suddenly seeing your way out to a beautiful destination. The common phrase dates back at least to the 1880s, from what I can tell. It was popularized by President John Kennedy in the mid-1960s, referencing the Vietnam war.
What’s Another Way to Say “Light at the End of the Tunnel”?
Since the phrase light at the end of the tunnel means something or someone that gives hope, here are some words and phrases related to the idiom.
- Rose-colored glasses
- Freedom from suspicion
- Freedom from doubt
- Sure bet
Examples With “Light at the End of the Tunnel” in a Sentence
Here are some sentences that clearly show how to use the phrase light at the end of the tunnel.
- I’m writing the final chapter of my book; I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
- After a stressful few months, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and am looking forward to the future.
In order to ensure food security and prevent a worsening of the global food crisis, it is urgently necessary to maintain the power supply. Therefore, humanitarian support from Western partners, such as the provision of generators, is very important. They literally create a light at the end of the tunnel. (Friedrich Naumann Foundation)
“It took me great sadness and anger to understand and appreciate what joy is, and it took me great hatred and fear to understand and appreciate what love is. As I said at the beginning, I can see light at the end of the tunnel.” (Info Migrants)
However, there could be some “light at the end of the tunnel” as tangible changes on a small and large scale are being made by those at the helm. (Daily Echo)
Summary of “A Light at the End of the Tunnel”
Learning idioms and metaphors can help you widen your vocabulary and add color to your writing. Start using light at the end of the tunnel in your sentences so you can practice.
Remember that this phrase means an object, person, or situation that gives someone a reason to believe that a bad situation is ending.
Enjoyed reading about this idiom? Check out some others we covered: