chain lightning

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

Origin of chain lightning

An Americanism dating back to 1825–35

Words Nearby chain lightning Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use chain lightning in a sentence

  • I gathered another impression, and it was that bonefish were related to dynamite and chain lightning.

    Tales of Fishes | Zane Grey
  • Wilson at full is simply chain lightning, and the whole country will be talking of him by November.

  • I could see their every movement, and it seemed to me that the chain lightning was striking the iron-stone all round them.

    Allan's Wife | H. Rider Haggard
  • Overhead the storm burst in fury, and flash after flash of fork, or rather chain lightning, leapt into the river.

    Jess | H. Rider Haggard
  • He did the job up pretty well, considering; and as for your Thad, he's chain lightning on the send.

British Dictionary definitions for chain lightning

chain lightning

  1. 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