blue jet


Definition of blue jet

: a rare form of electrical discharge that is emitted from the top of a cumulonimbus cloud during a thunderstorm as a large upward jet of blue light Wescott and Sentman discovered that sprites are salmon-colored, and as they flew with Tobolski over the Arkansas storm that summer, they discovered that sprites were not alone above the clouds: fountains of blue light emerged directly from the clouds as well. These they named blue jets.— Elwood Norris, Discover, July 1997 Blue jets, by far the rarest member of the menagerie, shoot up from cloudtops at speeds of more than 60 miles a second to heights of 30 miles.— Karen Wright, Scientific American, Spring 2000

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of blue jet

1994, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about blue jet

Time Traveler for blue jet

Time Traveler

The first known use of blue jet was in 1994

See more words from the same year

Statistics for blue jet

Cite this Entry

“Blue jet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

Comments on blue jet

What made you want to look up blue jet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!