shed (some) light on (something)
To reveal information or details about something; to clarify or help people understand something. We’ve hired a private investigator to help shed light on the clandestine dealings of the organization. These documents we’ve uncovered shed some light on how the late author’s final book was meant to end.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
shed (some) light on something
and throw (some) light on something
Fig. to reveal something about something; to clarify something. (Also with any.) This discussion has shed some light on the problem. Let’s see if Ann can throw any light on this question.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
shed light on
Also, throw light on. Clarify or explain, as in I was hoping the professor would shed light on how he arrived at his theory, or Can anyone throw some light on where these plants came from? Originally, from about 1200, these expressions were used literally, in the sense of “illuminate,” but they soon were used figuratively as well.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
shed light on, to
To explain or clarify. This term was used literally, in the sense of illuminating something, from the fourteenth century. In the fifteenth century light came to be used figuratively for “understanding.” George J. Adler used the expression in his translation of Fauriel’s History of Provençal Poetry (1860): “On these antecedents that I shall first endeavor to shed some light.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer