- a flash of lightning with the accompanying thunder.
- an imaginary bolt or dart conceived as the material destructive agent cast to earth in a flash of lightning: the thunderbolts of Jove.
- something very destructive, terrible, severe, sudden, or startling.
- a person who acts with fury or with sudden and irresistible force.
Origin of thunderbolt
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for thunderbolt
But as high school came to a close, her father made an announcement that hit Nashwa like a thunderbolt.How One Young Woman Escaped Childhood Abuse and a Forced Marriage
October 8, 2014
Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.Crushing Christmas: How to Win Every Argument
Kelly Williams Brown
December 24, 2013
It played in the background while God made love to the thunderbolt that birthed Tom Brady.Seven Best Rap Songs About Moms for Mother’s Day (VIDEO)
May 12, 2013
If Saraswati was a god in the eyes of his followers, then the threat of karmic retribution was his thunderbolt.The Fugitive Guru
June 21, 2011
And I think the next one, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, was kind of like that too.Jeff Bridges' Crazy Oscar Bid
December 12, 2009
Dear oak-tree, you are riven by the storm-king's thunderbolt!A Little Book of Profitable Tales
In its wild condition it is something like a thunderbolt, an earthquake and a cyclone.The Devil's Dictionary
The thunderbolt had fallen, and now, O God, what should he do?The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
For this is the thunderbolt with which they fright those whom they are resolved not to favor.The Praise of Folly
The Pagoda might be an erroneous variant of the thunderbolt Vadjra.The Chinese Fairy Book
- a flash of lightning accompanying thunder
- the imagined agency of destruction produced by a flash of lightning
- (in mythology) the destructive weapon wielded by several gods, esp the Greek god ZeusSee also Thor
- something very startling
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
Word Origin and History for thunderbolt
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper