lightning rod


lightning rod

noun

: a metal rod that is placed on a building and connected with the ground below to protect the building from being damaged by lightning

: someone or something that attracts criticism or gets blamed when things go wrong

Full Definition of LIGHTNING ROD

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.>

First Known Use of LIGHTNING ROD

1773

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