Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

sheet lightning

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. lightning appearing merely as a general illumination over a broad area, usually because the path of the flash is obscured by clouds.
Show More

Origin of sheet lightning

First recorded in 1820–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sheet lightning

Historical Examples

  • Sheet-lightning flickers above the mountain crests, painting everything white for an instant.

    'Midst the Wild Carpathians

    Mr Jkai

  • It had become very dark; suddenly a blaze of sheet-lightning illumed the room.

    Lavengro

    George Borrow

  • This, with great volumes of sheet-lightning, enabled us at times to see the whole country.

  • The experience of almost every one will testify to the effects of sheet-lightning silently illuminating the sky by night.

  • Suddenly a broad wavering gleam of sheet-lightning lit up the whole brae.


British Dictionary definitions for sheet lightning

sheet lightning

noun
  1. lightning that appears as a broad sheet, caused by the reflection of more distant lightning
Show More
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

sheet lightning in Science

sheet lightning

[shēt]
  1. A broad, sheetlike illumination of a portion of a thundercloud, caused by an unseen, often internal or reflected lightning flash. See also heat lightning. See more at lightning.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.