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 sound produced by the electricity in passing rapidly through the atmosphere constitutes thunder. [1913 Webster]

2. The act of making bright, or the state of being made bright; enlightenment; brightening, as of the mental powers. [R.] [1913 Webster]

{Ball lightning}, a rare form of lightning sometimes seen as a globe of fire moving from the clouds to the earth.

{Chain lightning}, lightning in angular, zigzag, or forked flashes.

{Heat lightning}, more or less vivid and extensive flashes of electric light, without thunder, seen near the horizon, esp. at the close of a hot day.

{Lightning arrester} (Telegraphy), a device, at the place where a wire enters a building, for preventing injury by lightning to an operator or instrument. It consists of a short circuit to the ground interrupted by a thin nonconductor over which lightning jumps. Called also {lightning discharger}.

{Lightning bug} (Zo["o]l.), a luminous beetle. See {Firefly}.

{Lightning conductor}, a lightning rod.

{Lightning glance}, a quick, penetrating glance of a brilliant eye.

{Lightning rod}, a metallic rod set up on a building, or on the mast of a vessel, and connected with the earth or water below, for the purpose of protecting the building or vessel from lightning.

{Sheet lightning}, a diffused glow of electric light flashing out from the clouds, and illumining their outlines. The appearance is sometimes due to the reflection of light from distant flashes of lightning by the nearer clouds. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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);… …   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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