verb (used without object), light·ninged, light·ning.
Can be confusedlightening lightning
Examples from the Web for lightning
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|DAILY BEAST
Second, Michelle served as a lightning rod in the sense of drawing attacks away from other reform groups.
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|DAILY BEAST
Setting up the company “came to me as a lightning bolt last summer,” Lear tells me.
Diamond had not seen the lightning, for he had been intent on finding the face of North Wind.At the Back of the North Wind|George MacDonald
The Prophet rose and rushed at her; but Sarah, with the quickness of lightning, flew between them.The Black Prophet: A Tale Of Irish Famine|William Carleton
The knight sprang round the horse as quick as lightning, and, brandishing his sword, struck at Kuhleborn's head.Undine|Friedrich de la Motte Fouque
On the 24th, at night, we saw the first lightning, which was not very bright.The Voyages of Pedro Fernandez de Quiros|Pedro Fernandez de Quiros
Red Blaze, quick as lightning, fired at the flash of the rifle.The Guns of Shiloh|Joseph A. Altsheler
British Dictionary definitions for lightning
Word Origin for lightning
Science definitions for lightning
A Closer Look
As storm clouds develop, the temperature at the top of the cloud becomes much cooler than that at the bottom. For reasons that scientists still do not understand, this temperature difference results in the accumulation of negatively charged particles near the base and positively charged particles near the top of the storm cloud. The negatively charged particles repel the electrons of atoms in nearby objects, such as the bases of other storm clouds or tall objects on the ground. Consequently, these nearby objects take on a positive charge. The difference in charge, or voltage, builds until an electric current starts to flow between the objects along a pathway of charged atoms in the air. The current flow heats up the air to such a degree that it glows, generating lightning. Initially, a bolt of lightning carrying a negative charge darts from one storm cloud to another or from a storm cloud to the ground, leaving the bottom of the cloud with a positive charge. In response, a second bolt (reverse lightning) shoots in the opposite direction (from the other storm cloud or the ground) as the mass of negative charges on it moves back to neutralize the positive charge on the bottom of the first cloud. The heat generated by the lightning causes the air to expand, in turn creating very large sound waves, or thunder.
Culture definitions for lightning
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)