lightning

Definitions

  • Lightning. Moqui pictograph
    Lightning. Moqui pictograph
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n lightning the flash of light that accompanies an electric discharge in the atmosphere (or something resembling such a flash); can scintillate for a second or more
    • n lightning abrupt electric discharge from cloud to cloud or from cloud to earth accompanied by the emission of light
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Additional illustrations & photos:

Lightning, fatal. Pictograph at Jemez, N.M Lightning, fatal. Pictograph at Jemez, N.M
Lightning, harmless. Pictograph at Jemez, N.M Lightning, harmless. Pictograph at Jemez, N.M
Flying Squirrel and Lightning Bow Flying Squirrel and Lightning Bow

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Men are four times more likely to be struck by lightning than women
    • Lightning 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.
    • vb. n Lightning līt"nĭng Lightening.
    • Lightning The act of making bright, or the state of being made bright; enlightenment; brightening, as of the mental powers.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Lightning strikes 6,000 times every minute on the entire planet
    • n lightning A becoming light or bright; a flashing of light: in this sense usually lightening.
    • n lightning A sudden illumination of the heavens caused by the discharge of atmospheric electricity from one cloud to another or from a cloud to the earth; a flash of light due to electricity in the atmosphere. The lightning-flash may have a length of a mile or even more, and commonly takes an irregular direction (forked lightning), the path of the electrical discharge being that of the least resistance. In sheet-lightning no definite spark is seen, but a general illumination over a broad surface; it is commonly due to the reflection by the clouds of the discharge proper. This is called summer lightning or heat-lightning when the storm is at a great distance, so that only the broad flashes of light are seen, usually near the horizon, and unaccompanied by thunder. Sheet-lightning is also described as occurring when there is neither storm nor cloud; if such cases be authentic, it is probably due to a weak electrical discharge in the air at a considerable altitude. In globular lightning or globe-lightning, which is a rare phenomenon, the discharge takes a spherical form (fire-ball), sometimes apparently a foot or more in diameter, and lasts for a number of seconds, descending slowly to the earth, and often exploding with a loud report. The discharge of frictional electricity in the laboratory gives phenomena similar in kind to those of lightning, and the “brimstone odor” which sometimes accompanies the latter (due to the formation of ozone) is often observed.
    • n lightning A becoming light or less heavy; an exhilaration of the spirits.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Lightning strikes the Earth 100 times every second, from the 1,800 thunderstorms in progress at any given moment.
    • Lightning (Shak.) an exhilaration of the spirits
    • ns Lightning the electric flash usually followed by thunder:
    • ns Lightning (Shak.) a becoming bright
    • ***

Quotations

  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    Samuel%20Taylor%20Coleridge
    “To see him act is like reading Shakespeare by flashes of lightning.”
  • Jean Baptiste Lacordaire
    Jean Baptiste Lacordaire
    “The affections are like lightning: you cannot tell where they will strike till they have fallen.”
  • Bill Bryson
    Bill Bryson
    “There are only three things that can kill a farmer: lightning, rolling over in a tractor, and old age.”
  • Horace
    Horace
    “The lofty pine is oftenest shaken by the winds; High towers fall with a heavier crash; And the lightning strikes the highest mountain.”
  • Eric Mackay
    Eric Mackay
    “Lightning is the shorthand of a storm, and tells of chaos.”
  • Damien Cannon
    Damien Cannon
    “If you pray for rain, don't be surprised if you're struck by lightning.”

Idioms

Greased lightning - If something or someone moves like greased lightning, they move very fast indeed.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
For lightening, fr. lighten, to flash

Usage

In literature:

Hollyhock, who could ride splendidly, was soon seated on the back of her glorious Arab, Lightning Speed.
"Hollyhock" by L. T. Meade
Quick almost as the lightning's flash is the turning of the tide.
"My Days and Nights on the Battle-Field" by Charles Carleton Coffin
Continuous sheets of lightning made the night as bright as day.
"Battling the Clouds" by Captain Frank Cobb
The lightning flashed, the thunder rolled and broke above them, and the scene became terrifying.
"Operas Every Child Should Know" by Mary Schell Hoke Bacon
In the brilliant starlight he saw nothing but the two white stubs of the lightning-shattered trees in which the owls lived.
"The Valley of Silent Men" by James Oliver Curwood
The lightning of insanity flashed continually from the heavy cloud that hung upon her soul.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 350, December 1844" by Various
Even he doubted the possibility of lightning causing such destruction.
"The Golden Woman" by Ridgwell Cullum
There'll be lightning soon.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, June, 1930" by Various
The one whom the rest had thrust out, had been the only righteous one among them, and for his sake the lightning had spared the temple.
"The Chinese Fairy Book" by Various
It was impossible now to see his course, except by the lightning.
"Mabel's Mistake" by Ann S. Stephens
A few low rumbles were heard, while off to the southwest appeared some random flashes of lightning.
"The Go Ahead Boys and the Treasure Cave" by Ross Kay
The lightning flashed brighter and brighter.
"The Galaxy, Volume 23, No. 2, February, 1877" by Various
A flash of lightning shimmered on the horizon.
"'Jena' or 'Sedan'?" by Franz Beyerlein
It was quick as a lightning flash, but, quick as it was, Felipe avoided it.
"Bred of the Desert" by Marcus Horton
Indeed, lightning was already playing around the horizon behind them.
"Wyn's Camping Days" by Amy Bell Marlowe
I sat down by my window, in the lightning flashes watching the rain, wind-driven across the landscape.
"The Price of the Prairie" by Margaret Hill McCarter
It comes this way, like a flash of lightning from a summer sky.
"The Silent Barrier" by Louis Tracy
Who writes, with the lightning's bright hand, on the wall?
"The Bible Story" by Rev. Newton Marshall Hall
The glare was the result of a continuous succession of vivid lightning flashes.
"Renshaw Fanning's Quest" by Bertram Mitford
Dost thou know when God disposes them, And the lightning of his cloud shines forth?
"The Origin of the World According to Revelation and Science" by John William Dawson
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In poetry:

As he o'er whom a tyrant reigns,
It waits our sovran word,
And thinks along the living veins
The lightnings of its lord!
"The Young Man's Song" by Sydney Thompson Dobell
Is yon a cot I saw, though low?
When lightning broke the gloom—-
How welcome were its shade!—-ah, no!
'Tis but a Turkish tomb.
"Stanzas Composed During A Thunderstorm" by Lord George Gordon Byron
Too long, O Spirit of Storm,
Thy lightning sleeps in its sheath!
I am sick to the soul of yon pallid sky,
And the moveless sea beneath.
"Too Long, O Spirit Of Storm" by Henry Timrod
The lightnings in their vivid wrath,
The waving hills a starting,
Deep thro' the cloud-sea cleave a path,
From shore to shore a darting.
"The Thunder Storm" by Albery Allson Whitman
And there are bosoms bound to mine
With links both tried and strong:
And there are eyes whose lightning shine
Has warmed and blest me long:
"Last Words" by Emily Jane Bronte
Her teeth the night with darkness dyes,
She's starr'd with pimples o'er;
Her tongue like nimble lightning plies,
And can with thunder roar.
"On Lyce - An Elderly Lady" by Samuel Johnson

In news:

FPL Researchers helping ensure Lightning's Effects are gone in a Flash .
Sometimes, if I type something the editor doesn't like, such as a word in all capitals, a blue lightning icon appears (typically hiding what I just typed).
The lightning-caused fire near Mono Lake was declared 100 percent contained Wednesday, and firefighters are increasingly being moved from the Indian Fire to other fires in the state and country.
Lightning is some seriously scary stuff… it's like nature's shock therapy.
They say lightning doesn't strike twice.
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin checks Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor more.
Rob Carr/Getty ImagesBryce Harper has a solid shot to take over for LeBron James and be sports' next lightning rod.
Which weather phenomenon involves a seasonal wind system that affects rainfall — lightning or monsoon.
An official at San Francisco International Airport says lightning hit a United Airlines flight, forcing the plane to return to the airport.
The Capitals' second-round opponent just happens to be the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Lightning strike By all accounts, Tony Tata performed well in his job and is to be thanked by all.
A lightning storm that swept through La Plata County kept fire crews busy on Tuesday night.
Lightning Medicine Cloud Case Closed.
He's not a lightning rod for attention.
Marathon Canceled After Becoming Lightning Rod For Criticism.
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In science:

Proof Sketch and lightning introduction to elimination theory.
The amplitude modulation transform
Schnabl, Algebraic solutions in open string field theory - a lightning review, 1004.4858.
Democratic Superstring Field Theory: Gauge Fixing
Such lightnings can manifest themselves as radio bursts from RRATs .
Generalization of the Beck-Cohen superstatistics
In a lightning, we deal with an ultrarelativistic electronpositron plasma.
Generalization of the Beck-Cohen superstatistics
It was a concern that the RF noise of the local electronics and the presence of an extensive lightning-protection array might dictate the placement of one or more antennas outside the periphery of the array, or might make the site unsuitable altogether.
Detection of the RF Pulse Associated With Cosmic Ray Air Showers
It is proposed to monitor the RF noise and to detect pulses by mounting the log-periodic antenna near the CASA central trailer site, just above the lightning protection grid. A digital storage scope will be used to register several microseconds of RF data on a rolling basis.
Detection of the RF Pulse Associated With Cosmic Ray Air Showers
I set the scale by the “classic” example of rare, the probability of getting killed by lightning in one year in the U.S.
Rare Kaon Decays: Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo
One could use strikes (a = 0) rather than bumps (a = 1/2) to better reproduce the string-like branched patterns seen in laboratory experiments (Bunde and Havlin (1996)) and more familiar lightning strikes.
Conformal mapping methods for interfacial dynamics
It is additionally noteworthy that solar flares, auroral storms and lightning have all been observed to result in substantial transient bursts in this frequency regime.
Radiowave Neutrino Detection
Schnabl, Algebraic solutions in Open String Field Theory - a lightning review, [arXiv:1004.4858]. T.
Level truncation analysis of regularized identity based solutions
Either the correlated events share a common cause — such as seeing a flash and hearing the thunder when a lightning strikes — or one event influences the other — such as the position of the moon causing the tides.
Mini-Proceedings ECT*: Speakable in quantum mechanics: atomic, nuclear and subnuclear physics tests
In this estimate all ma jor atmospheric effects, such as lightnings, meteors, and anthropic lights (e.g. city lights) have been included.
Summary Report of JEM-EUSO Workshop at KICP in Chicago
In this note, I give a (very sub jective!) lightning review of some of the highlights of the meeting.
DPF `96: The triumph of the Standard Model
Milagrito is located in one of the most lightning-prone areas in the US. The mean waiting time for a strike within the 50,000 m2 site is about 1 month, peaking in the early summer.
Milagrito: a TeV air-shower array
The attenuation lengths of the water in the recirculator and that of the pond are indistinguishable and equal to 13.4 ± 0.5 meters . A lightning protection system was installed around the experiment as a safeguard against possible strikes.
Search for Gamma Ray Emission from Galactic Plane with Milagro
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