• WordNet 3.6
    • n thunderbolt a shocking surprise "news of the attack came like a bombshell"
    • n thunderbolt a discharge of lightning accompanied by thunder
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Thunderbolt (Paleon) A belemnite, or thunderstone.
    • Thunderbolt A shaft of lightning; a brilliant stream of electricity passing from one part of the heavens to another, or from the clouds to the earth.
    • Thunderbolt Something resembling lightning in suddenness and effectiveness. "The Scipios' worth, those thunderbolts of war."
    • Thunderbolt Vehement threatening or censure; especially, ecclesiastical denunciation; fulmination. "He severely threatens such with the thunderbolt of excommunication."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n thunderbolt A flash of lightning with the accompanying crash of thunder: so called because regarded as due to the hurling of a bolt or shaft at the object struck by the lightning. See def. 2.
    • n thunderbolt The imaginary bolt or shaft (often regarded as a stone) conceived as the material agent or substance of a flash of lightning, and the cause of the accompanying crash of thunder: an attribute of Zeus or Jupiter as the god of thunder (Jupiter Tonans); specifically, in heraldry, a bearing representing a thunderbolt more or less like that of Jupiter. It is often composed of barbed lances, the shafts of which are broken into dovetails, and a group of these put side by side, having a pair of wings attached, is emblematic of radiating light; sometimes it is a doubleflame of fire pointing up and down and accompanied with lances, radiating blades, etc.
    • n thunderbolt A stone or other hard concretion of distinctive shape, usually tapering or spear-like, found in the ground, and supposed in popular superstition to have been the material substance of a thunderbolt (in sense 2), and to have fallen from heaven with the lightning. Specifically— One of various polished stone implements, celts, and the like, found in the ground, supposed to have fallen from the sky. Also called thunder-ax, thunder-hammer, thunder-stone, ceraunia, and storm-stone.
    • n thunderbolt Figuratively, one who is daring or irresistible; one who acts with fury or with sudden and resistless force.
    • n thunderbolt A dreadful threat, denunciation, censure, or the like, proceeding from some high authority; a fulmination.
    • n thunderbolt plural The white campion (Lychnis vespertina), the corn-poppy (Papaver Rhœas), or the bladder-campion (Silene Cucubalus)—the last so named from the slight report made by exploding the inflated calyx.
    • thunderbolt To strike with or as with lightning.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Thunderbolt a bolt or shaft of lightning preceding a peal of thunder: anything sudden and irresistible: a daring or irresistible hero: ecclesiastical denunciation
    • ***


  • Charles Caleb Colton
    “The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storm.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
With intrusive d from A.S. þunorþunian, to rattle; cog. with Ger. donner, Ice. þorr for þonr, L. tonāre.


In literature:

A thunderbolt falling in their midst could not have been more effectual.
"From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan" by Helena Pretrovna Blavatsky
The heavens responded with lightning and thunderbolts!
"The Social Cancer" by José Rizal
Why does not a thunderbolt cleave the impious tongue which utters the criminal proposal!
"The Robbers A Tragedy" by Friedrich Schiller
Here, Heaven be thanked, is one whom the same thunderbolt has struck!
"Fiesco or, The Genoese Conspiracy A Tragedy" by Friedrich Schiller
Upon me must fall the burden of responsibility; upon me the curse, the thunderbolt of the Judge.
"Love and Intrigue A Play" by Friedrich Schiller
Struck by the thunderbolt I prostrate lie, Never to rise again.
"The Maid of Orleans A Tragedy" by Friedrich Schiller
It had descended on Freddie like a thunderbolt through the medium of Ronny Devereux.
"The Little Warrior" by P. G. Wodehouse
Those of Clouds' Rest descend like thunderbolts for more than a mile.
"The Yosemite" by John Muir
A thunderbolt has fallen on the house.
"The Reverberator" by Henry James
I must confess that the news came upon me like a thunderbolt.
"The Disowned, Complete" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
But all at once came a thunderbolt.
"Rome From the "Three Cities"" by Emile Zola
From what dark-breasted cloud would the thunderbolt fall?
"Paris From the "Three Cities"" by Emile Zola
A thunderbolt must certainly have fallen from heaven.
"The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete Lourdes, Rome and Paris" by Emile Zola
It was impossible to make Zeus comprehend how an idea could be a match for a thunderbolt.
"The Twilight of the Gods, and Other Tales" by Richard Garnett
But all at once the thunderbolt fell.
"Fruitfulness Fecondite" by Emile Zola
As a man he no longer lives, but his thunderbolts are perpetual powers, since they still alarm the fears of men.
"Beacon Lights of History, Volume V" by John Lord
Had a thunderbolt fallen among them, they could not have been more surprised.
"Thrilling Adventures by Land and Sea" by James O. Brayman
About the Thunderbolt Legion from Melitene (chapter 9).
"Dio's Rome, Volume V., Books 61-76 (A.D. 54-211)" by Cassius Dio
Thunderbolt on thunderbolt, crash on crash rent the air.
"Adèle Dubois" by Mrs. William T. Savage
I hate stale thunderbolts.
"The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes" by Israel Zangwill

In poetry:

My will fulfilled shall be,
For, in daylight or in dark,
My thunderbolt has eyes to see
His way home to the mark.
"Boston Hymn" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Such thunderbolts, in other lands,
Have smitten the rod from royal hands,
But spared, with us, till now,
Each laurelled Cesar's brow!
"Abraham Lincoln: An Horatian Ode" by Richard Henry Stoddard
Such thunderbolts, in other lands,
Have smitten the rod from royal hands,
But spared, with us, till now,
Each laureled Caesar's brow.
"An Horatian Ode" by Richard Henry Stoddard
"But think, think thee of me, to whom or gloom
Or cold were more unknown than impotence!
See the unhurlèd thunderbolt brought hence
To mock me when I dream I still am Jove!"
"The Dead Gods" by Cale Young Rice
Chinook, they did n't know you as a colt:
We were some young and wild in those days, Chinook!
They never tamed a foot-loose thunderbolt
That pawed a star down, every jump he took.
"So Long, Chinook!" by Henry Herbert Knibbs
In the face of the sun are great thunderbolts hurled,
And the storm-clouds have shut out its light;
But a Rainbow of Promise now shines on the world,
And the universe thrills at the sight.
"The Rainbow Of Promise" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

In news:

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Watch Bjork's Electrified ' Thunderbolt ' Video.
View this 1965 Ford Thunderbolt Restored Photo 1.
1964 Ford Thunderbolt - 'This Guy's Garage.
View this 1964 Ford Thunderbolt Side View Photo 1.
Check out the Buchanan's Family collection of Fords such as their 1964 Ford Thunderbolt from Car Carft Magazine.
LaCie Reveals New Drives and Hubs with Thunderbolt Technology.
The Thunderbolt was skied by Olympians, including two members of the 1936 US team, and a cadre of Nazi-era German skiers.
The Apple Thunderbolt Display has features including two channels of 10-Gbps throughput in both directions, up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0 and up to 12 times faster than FireWire 800.
HTC Thunderbolt Release Date Not Clear.
HTC Thunderbolt Rivals Apple iPhone 4 in Smartphone Wars.
Read the complete details of this S2 Thunderbolt recall issued on Apr 24, 1995 by the NHTSA, including the number of motorcycles affected, consequence, proposed solution from Buell, and more.