See the Light at the End of the Tunnel Meaning

Definition: To be close to the finish of a daunting task.

You are watching: A light at the end of the tunnel

Origin of See the Light at the End of the Tunnel

The beginning of this expression is unclear. Some sources say the idiom is initially attested in the early on 1900s. Others put it in the 1800s.

Regardmuch less, the idiom should speak to to mind a dark and dangerous tunnel. When one deserve to view the light at the finish of the tunnel, one knows exactly how to gain out, and also that the finish of the ordeal is almost there. The light symbolizes hope.

It is feasible that the U.S. President John F. Kennedy aided to popularize this expression as soon as he used it in a speech about the Vietnam War.

Sometimes, human being joke that the light at the end of the tunnel is actually the light of an oncoming train. The idea behind this is to make an optimistic expression more negative.

This phrase is also common as a euphemism for the finish of one’s life. As one is nearing the completion of his life, he might explain himself as “seeing the light at the finish of the tunnel”

Examples of See the Light at the End of the Tunnel

In the conversation below, two friends are mentioning a lengthy and also arduous task they’ve been functioning on.

Scott: I can’t believe we ever agreed to aid Mike relocate out of his home.

Tony: I understand. I never before would have actually agreed to it if I had well-known he had so a lot junk in his house.

Scott: It’s a little out of manage. We’ve currently filled a number of dumpsters through all his trash.

Tony: At least we’ve thrown out all the garbage and packed up all his points. Now we just have to relocate his stuff and assist him unload it. At this allude, I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Scott: That’s true. The hardest part is over via, and now I know never before to help anyone relocate again!

Two coemployees use the expression while talking around their kids.

Richard: You have actually a two-year-old, right? Is it true what they say about the damaging two’s? Is that age particularly difficult?

Miranda: From my endure via my various other youngsters, I have the right to confidently say the answer is yes. But at leastern I recognize my husband also and also I won’t be having actually any type of even more children, and also my 2 year old will rotate three following month. I can watch the light at the end of the tunnel! I have the right to look forward to being done via her screaming fits shortly.

More Examples

This quote is from a horoscope.

The second example is from an short article around spreading an actor with four totally functioning limbs in the role of a twin amputee.

See more: Why Do Lobbyists File Amicus Curiae Briefs ? Interest Groups: The Inside Game: Lobbying


The phrase to view the light at the finish of the tunnel means to have hope that one will certainly be finished with an arduous task soon.


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