place in the sun

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Possibly a calque from French place au soleil[1].


place in the sun (plural places in the sun)

  1. (figuratively) A favorable position.
    • 1908, Laurie Magnus, English literature in the nineteenth century: an essay in criticism, page 32:
      that all conscious or seeming-conscious life is worthy of a place in the sun; that the hodman at his plough, the daisy in the field, and the lover with his lass, are alike a part of Nature's pageant
    • 1992, Mark A. Noll, A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada‎, page 311:
      And beyond the Christian orbit, other religious groups, at first Jews but then others as well, began to claim a place in the sun.
  2. (figuratively) Recognition, fame.
    • 1972, Ben Barr Lindsey, The companionate marriage‎, page 72:
      Jealousy is simply another way of demanding one's place in the sun – or under the domestic spotlight – a place in the center of the stage, as an exclusive object of consideration and attention.
  3. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see place,‎ sun.


  1. ^
    a. 1662, Blaise Pascal, Pensées:
    Mien, tien – Ce chien est à moi, disaient ces pauvres enfants. C'est là ma place au soleil. Voilà le commencement et l'image de l'usurpation de toute la terre.
    Mine, thine. – "This dog is mine," said those poor children; "that is my place in the sun." Here is the beginning and the image of the usurpation of all the earth.