Idiom:  A ray of sunshine


Idiom:  a ray of sunshine

  • someone or something that makes others happier or more hopeful, often during difficult situations.
  • a sign of hope


— It is common to use the negative form of this idiom to express irony or humor - to describe someone who is negative or miserable. 

— A "ray" is a narrow line of light that you can see from the sun or other light source (e.g., lamp, light bulb, flashlight). 

An image showing thick gray clouds over a green valley. A thin beam of light illuminates a bright green patch of the land. This illustrates what a ray of light is.

As you can see in the image above, the literal meaning of a "ray of light" is something that shines or lights up an object. The idiom "a ray of sunshine" has the figurative meaning of making a situation or someone feel brighter, happier, more hopeful, etc.

Example sentences

— The inquiry from a potential client offered a ray of sunshine for my new business.

— Our little village was probably the most boring place on earth until the Smith family moved here. Their eldest daughter, a singer, is a ray of sunshine.

— My tax refund gave me a ray of sunshine for eliminating some of my credit card debt.

— The new receptionist is not exactly a ray of sunshine, is she?

— At first, her boyfriend was like a ray of sunshine but now the storm clouds seem to be rolling in.

— We always try to get athletes and celebrities to visit the hospital. They are a ray of sunshine for our sickest patients.

— Everyone is in love with the new student, Tabitha. Her smile is a ray of sunshine.

— Sarah: "Did you notice how Jared criticized every proposal this morning but didn't suggest alternatives?"  Jonathan: "Yeah, he's always of ray of sunshine at staff meetings."

— Sally will be like a ray of sunshine in this sport. Everyone else is so focused on winning they only view the competition as their enemies.

— Well, isn't he a ray of sunshine on a stormy day?

— After three days buried in the earthquake rubble, the sound of search and rescue workers came like a ray of sunshine.

— The news that our exam was postponed until next week was a ray of sunshine for everyone.


  • a breath of fresh air
  • a happy camper
  • a ray of sunlight 
  • a ray of light

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