- Chiefly Northeastern and Western U.S. lightning that seems to move very quickly in wavy or zigzag lines.
- bead lightning.
Origin of chain lightning
An Americanism dating back to 1825–35
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for chain lightning
A storm-burst of laughter, mingled with shouts of "By jiminy, but he's chain-lightning!"A Double Barrelled Detective Story
I never 20 saw such a girl as you are for chain-lightning projects!The Automobile Girls at Newport
Laura Dent Crane
"I wish I had control of chain-lightning for a few minutes," says O., the droll fellow of our company.
Anyhow, I found myself riding away straight south as if I were on a streak of chain-lightning.Track's End
The trenchant manner, the statuesque drapery, the chain-lightning effects, were much as they were afterwards seen in this country.Is Polite Society Polite?
Julia Ward Howe
- 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