• synonyms

lightning bug

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. firefly.

Origin of lightning bug

An Americanism dating back to 1770–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lightning bug

Historical Examples

  • When the sun struck him right, he was as good to follow as a lightning-bug.

    Some Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • I want to get a new specimen of a lightning-bug I noticed in the garden.

  • In Borneo there is a species of lightning-bug that tourists carry around at night on spits, delighted with the novelty.

  • It was a rare kind, and I almost had one when a mosquito bit me and I had to let the lightning-bug go.

British Dictionary definitions for lightning bug

lightning bug

  1. US and Canadian another name for the firefly
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012