lightning rod
noun Date: 1773 1. a grounded metallic rod set up on a structure (as a building) to protect it from lightning 2. one that serves to divert attack from another 3. one that is a frequent target of criticism or focus of controversy <
she has become a convenient lightning rod for voters' discontent with law-and-order issues — Aric Press et al.
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New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lightning rod — 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

  • lightning rod — lightning rods 1) N COUNT A lightning rod is the same as a lightning conductor. [AM] 2) PHRASE: PHR n If you say that someone is a lightning rod for something, you mean that they attract that thing to themselves. [AM] He is a lightning rod for… …   English dictionary

  • lightning rod — lightning .rod n AmE 1.) a ↑lightning conductor 2.) someone or something who gets most of the criticism, blame, or public attention when there is a problem, although they may not be responsible for it be a lightning rod for sth ▪ The senator has… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • lightning rod — lightning ,rod noun count AMERICAN 1. ) a metal bar fixed to a building that protects it from LIGHTNING 2. ) someone who attracts a lot of criticism, sometimes as a way of protecting someone else: The outspoken chief inspector serves as a… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • lightning rod — Someone or something that attracts a lot of negative comment, often diverting attention from other problems, is a lightning rod …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • lightning rod — ☆ lightning rod n. 1. a tall metal pole placed high on a structure, as a building or tower, and attached to a ground so as to attract lightning and protect the structure from damage 2. a person or thing that attracts controversy, strong feelings …   English World dictionary

  • Lightning rod — A lightning rod (USA) or lightning conductor (UK) is a single component in a lightning protection system. In addition to rods placed at regular intervals on the highest portions of a structure, a lightning protection system typically includes a… …   Wikipedia

  • lightning rod — 1. a rodlike conductor installed to divert lightning away from a structure by providing a direct path to the ground. 2. a person or thing that attracts and absorbs powerful and esp. negative or hostile feelings, opinions, etc., thereby diverting… …   Universalium

  • lightning rod — /ˈlaɪtnɪŋ rɒd/ (say luytning rod) noun 1. → lightning conductor. 2. someone or something which attracts heated debate: an agreement which is a lightning rod for both sides of politics …   Australian English dictionary

  • lightning rod — n. someone, something, or an issue that is certain to draw criticism. □ Why write such a boastful introduction to your book? It will just be a lightning rod for criticism. □ We didn’t hire him for the part since his opinionated comments make him… …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

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