sheet lightning

See synonyms for sheet lightning on
  1. lightning appearing merely as a general illumination over a broad area, usually because the path of the flash is obscured by clouds.

Origin of sheet lightning

First recorded in 1820–30

Words Nearby sheet lightning Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use sheet lightning in a sentence

  • On which a shivering of eagerness, quick as winking sheet-lightning, shook Harris' right knee.

    The Lord of the Sea | M. P. Shiel
  • He turned again to the judge with a smile that played like sheet lightning over his haggard face and inquired humbly.

    The Broken Sword | Dennison Worthington
  • The white sheet lightning was still pulsing in the sky and rising, as it seemed, out of the sea, but I hardly saw it.

  • Sheet-lightning flickers above the mountain crests, painting everything white for an instant.

  • Across the stars was a dark veil, riven at long intervals with the copper of sheet lightning.

    The Californians | Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

British Dictionary definitions for sheet lightning

sheet lightning

  1. lightning that appears as a broad sheet, caused by the reflection of more distant 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

Scientific definitions for sheet lightning

sheet lightning

[ shēt ]

  1. A broad, sheetlike illumination of a portion of a thundercloud, caused by an unseen, often internal or reflected lightning flash. See also heat lightning. See more at lightning.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.