chain lightning

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noun

Chiefly Northeastern and Western U.S. lightning that seems to move very quickly in wavy or zigzag lines.

Nearby words

  1. chain fern,
  2. chain gang,
  3. chain gear,
  4. chain grate,
  5. chain letter,
  6. chain locker,
  7. chain mail,
  8. chain measure,
  9. chain of command,
  10. chain pickerel

Origin of chain lightning

An Americanism dating back to 1825–35

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chain lightning


British Dictionary definitions for chain lightning

chain lightning

noun

another name for forked lightning
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