ball lightning



a rare form of lightning, consisting of a bright, luminous ball that moves rapidly along objects or floats in the air.

Nearby words

  1. ball handling,
  2. ball hawk,
  3. ball hockey,
  4. ball ice,
  5. ball joint,
  6. ball mill,
  7. ball of fire,
  8. ball of foot,
  9. ball of wax,
  10. ball race

Origin of ball lightning

First recorded in 1855–60

Also called globe lightning. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ball lightning

  • The mergers of ball-lightning and meteorites are not resistances to us: our data are of enormous bodies.

British Dictionary definitions for ball lightning

ball lightning


meteorol a luminous electrically charged ball occasionally seen during electrical storms
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

Science definitions for ball lightning

ball lightning

A rare form of lightning in the shape of a glowing red ball, associated with thunderstorms and sometimes accompanied by a loud noise. Ball lightning is thought to consist of ionized gas.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.