heat lightning


Definition of heat lightning

: vivid and extensive flashes of electric light without thunder seen near the horizon especially at the close of a hot day and ascribed to far-off lightning reflected by high clouds

Examples of heat lightning in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the clouds to the west, heat lightning fluttered and laced. David Means, The New Yorker, "Are You Experienced?," 14 Oct. 2019 Then, with 1:14 left in the half, heat lightning was sighted and both teams were sent to the locker rooms with Milford leading 34-6. Scott Springer, Cincinnati.com, "Ohio high school football: Milford blasts Loveland, 47-13, for Miami Township Victory Bell," 13 Sep. 2019 The afternoon clouds look like mountain ranges, enhancing the lush Irish topography, and later there is heat lightning in the distance, which lights up the horizon like an old projector. Chris Erskine, latimes.com, "I'm waiting for my re-booked flight. Cheers to these fellow travelers on life's journey," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heat lightning.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of heat lightning

1810, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about heat lightning

Time Traveler for heat lightning

Time Traveler

The first known use of heat lightning was in 1810

See more words from the same year

Statistics for heat lightning

Cite this Entry

“Heat lightning.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heat%20lightning. Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for heat lightning

heat lightning


English Language Learners Definition of heat lightning

chiefly US : flashes of light in the sky that happen without the sound of thunder and that are produced by distant lightning

Comments on heat lightning

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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