• synonyms

sheet lightning

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

First recorded in 1820–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sheet lightning

Historical Examples

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

    'Midst the Wild Carpathians

    Mr Jkai

  • It had become very dark; suddenly a blaze of sheet-lightning illumed the room.


    George Borrow

  • This, with great volumes of sheet-lightning, enabled us at times to see the whole country.

  • The experience of almost every one will testify to the effects of sheet-lightning silently illuminating the sky by night.

  • Suddenly a broad wavering gleam of sheet-lightning lit up the whole brae.

British Dictionary definitions for sheet lightning

sheet lightning

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

sheet lightning in Science

sheet lightning

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