Sheet lightning
Sheet Sheet, n. [OE. shete, schete, AS. sc[=e]te, sc[=y]te, fr. sce['a]t a projecting corner, a fold in a garment (akin to D. schoot sheet, bosom, lap, G. schoss bosom, lap, flap of a coat, Icel. skaut, Goth. skauts the hem of a garment); originally, that which shoots out, from the root of AS. sce['o]tan to shoot. [root]159. See {Shoot}, v. t.] In general, a large, broad piece of anything thin, as paper, cloth, etc.; a broad, thin portion of any substance; an expanded superficies. Specifically: (a) A broad piece of cloth, usually linen or cotton, used for wrapping the body or for a covering; especially, one used as an article of bedding next to the body. [1913 Webster]

He fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners. --Acts x. 10, 11. [1913 Webster]

If I do die before thee, prithee, shroud me In one of those same sheets. --Shak. [1913 Webster] (b) A broad piece of paper, whether folded or unfolded, whether blank or written or printed upon; hence, a letter; a newspaper, etc. (c) A single signature of a book or a pamphlet; in pl., the book itself. [1913 Webster]

To this the following sheets are intended for a full and distinct answer. --Waterland. [1913 Webster] (d) A broad, thinly expanded portion of metal or other substance; as, a sheet of copper, of glass, or the like; a plate; a leaf. (e) A broad expanse of water, or the like. ``The two beautiful sheets of water.'' --Macaulay. (f) A sail. --Dryden. (g) (Geol.) An extensive bed of an eruptive rock intruded between, or overlying, other strata. [1913 Webster]

2. [AS. sce['a]ta. See the Etymology above.] (Naut.) (a) A rope or chain which regulates the angle of adjustment of a sail in relation in relation to the wind; -- usually attached to the lower corner of a sail, or to a yard or a boom. (b) pl. The space in the forward or the after part of a boat where there are no rowers; as, fore sheets; stern sheets. [1913 Webster]

Note: Sheet is often used adjectively, or in combination, to denote that the substance to the name of which it is prefixed is in the form of sheets, or thin plates or leaves; as, sheet brass, or sheet-brass; sheet glass, or sheet-glass; sheet gold, or sheet-gold; sheet iron, or sheet-iron, etc. [1913 Webster]

{A sheet in the wind}, half drunk. [Sailors' Slang]

{Both sheets in the wind}, very drunk. [Sailors' Slang]

{In sheets}, lying flat or expanded; not folded, or folded but not bound; -- said especially of printed sheets.

{Sheet bend} (Naut.), a bend or hitch used for temporarily fastening a rope to the bight of another rope or to an eye.

{Sheet lightning}, {Sheet piling}, etc. See under {Lightning}, {Piling}, etc. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sheet lightning — Lightning Light ning (l[imac]t n[i^]ng), n. [For lightening, fr. lighten to flash.] 1. A discharge of atmospheric electricity, accompanied by a vivid flash of light, commonly from one cloud to another, sometimes from a cloud to the earth. The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sheet lightning — n [U] a type of ↑lightning that appears as a sudden flash of brightness covering a large area of sky →↑forked lightning …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • sheet lightning — noun uncount a type of LIGHTNING that makes the whole sky look very bright …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • sheet lightning — n. a sheetlike illumination caused by lightning reflected and diffused by thunderclouds …   English World dictionary

  • sheet lightning — noun : lightning in diffused or sheet form due to reflection and diffusion by the clouds and sky * * * noun [noncount] : lightning that appears as a wide flash of light over a large area of sky * * * ˌsheet ˈlightning f3 [sheet lightning] noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • sheet lightning — sheet′ light ning n. mer lightning appearing as a general illumination over a broad area, usu. because the path of the flash is obscured by clouds • Etymology: 1820–30 …   From formal English to slang

  • sheet lightning — lightning appearing merely as a general illumination over a broad area, usually because the path of the flash is obscured by clouds. [1820 30] * * * …   Universalium

  • sheet lightning — /ˈʃit laɪtnɪŋ/ (say sheet luytning) noun lightning appearing merely as a general illumination over a broad surface, usually due to the reflection of the lightning of a distant thunderstorm …   Australian English dictionary

  • sheet lightning — noun Date: 1794 lightning in diffused or sheet form due to reflection and diffusion by the clouds and sky …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • sheet lightning — noun (U) a type of lightning that appears as a sudden flash of brightness covering a large area of sky compare forked lightning …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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