a brilliant electric spark discharge in the atmosphere, occurring within a thundercloud, between clouds, or between a cloud and the ground.
to emit a flash or flashes of lightning (often used impersonally with it as subject): If it starts to lightning, we'd better go inside.
of, relating to, or resembling lightning, especially in regard to speed of movement: lightning flashes;lightning speed.
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Idioms about lightning
- lightening, lightning
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use lightning in a sentence
Outside awarded MountainFlow a Gear of the Show award at last year’s Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, where we look at hundreds of products pitched to us at lightning speed over the course of a few days.A Green Ski-Wax Company Gets Funded on 'Shark Tank' | Joe Jackson | February 9, 2021 | Outside Online
The video captures a thread of electric current, or lightning leader, zipping down from a thundercloud to meet another leader reaching up from the ground.
It took a violent mob of insurrectionists and a lightning bolt moment in this very room.Ocasio-Cortez, other Democrats recount on House floor what they experienced during Capitol siege | Amy B Wang, Colby Itkowitz | February 5, 2021 | Washington Post
Scientists have finally gotten a clear view of the spark that sets off a weird type of lightning called a blue jet.Space station sensors saw how weird ‘blue jet’ lightning forms | Maria Temming | February 2, 2021 | Science News For Students
The first is like estimating the distance to a lightning strike by timing the delayed arrival of the thunderclap.Rumbles on Mars Raise Hopes of Underground Magma Flows | Robin George Andrews | February 1, 2021 | Quanta Magazine
Should lightning strike and Hillary Clinton forgoes a presidential run, Democrats have a nominee in waiting.Sen. Warren’s Main Street Crusade to Pressure Clinton | Eleanor Clift | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Second, Michelle served as a lightning rod in the sense of drawing attacks away from other reform groups.
He made whatever was going on his own, and with such lightning speed you stopped concentrating.How Mork Melted the Fonz: Henry Winkler Recalls Robin Williams’s Storming ‘Happy Days’ Debut | Tim Teeman | August 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
There were flashes of lightning outside and the rumble of thunder.
Improvements in lightning tracking help scientists know where to send aircraft to look for fires.Fighting Wildfire With Satellites, Lasers, and Drones | Elizabeth Lopatto | July 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The left heel followed like lightning, and the right paw also slipped, letting the bear again fall heavily on the ice below.The Giant of the North | R.M. Ballantyne
Spite, however, of punishments and prohibitions the use of tobacco spread with the rapidity of lightning.Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce | E. R. Billings.
Like lightning he turned and seized by the wrist a man who had already opened the bag and laid hold of some of its contents.The Garret and the Garden | R.M. Ballantyne
His only worry at the time lay in the dark sky above and the blue-white stabs of lightning that promised an electrical storm.
Another lightning flash blinded the girls and the thunder following fairly deafened them for the moment.The Campfire Girls of Roselawn | Margaret Penrose
British Dictionary definitions for lightning
a flash of light in the sky, occurring during a thunderstorm and caused by a discharge of electricity, either between clouds or between a cloud and the earth: Related adjectives: fulgurous, fulminous
(modifier) fast and sudden: a lightning raid
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
Scientific definitions for lightning
A flash of light in the sky caused by an electrical discharge between clouds or between a cloud and the Earth's surface. The flash heats the air and usually causes thunder. Lightning may appear as a jagged streak, as a bright sheet, or in rare cases, as a glowing red ball.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for lightning
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with lightning
In addition to the idiom beginning with lightning
- lightning never strikes twice in the same place
- like greased lightning
- quick as a wink (lightning)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.