lightning

noun
light·ning | \ ˈlīt-niŋ \

Definition of lightning 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the flashing of light produced by a discharge of atmospheric electricity also : the discharge itself

2 : a sudden stroke of fortune candidates … hoping for real lightning to strikeTime

lightning

adjective

Definition of lightning (Entry 2 of 3)

: having or moving with or as if with the speed and suddenness of lightning a lightning assault

lightning

verb
lightninged; lightning

Definition of lightning (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to discharge a flash of lightning

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Examples of lightning in a Sentence

Adjective

thoughts moving at lightning speed he made a lightning dash for the goal

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As often as Neymar dominates the ball, to the detriment of flow, Brazil’s best player to date has been Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho, whose bolt-of-lightning goal against Switzerland ranks with the best of the tournament. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "Mexico hopes to end streak against Brazil," 29 June 2018 Mr Stoltenberg, a Norwegian whose job is to act as a kind of lightning-rod for storms raging inside NATO, tried hard to accentuate the positive. The Economist, "The American president lambasts his allies," 12 July 2018 They were submitted for consideration before the show was axed and no one — including its lightning-rod star — asked to be withdrawn. Fox News, "Did Barr's racist tweet kill 'Roseanne's' Emmy chances?," 10 July 2018 In a lightning round of random questions at the end of Thursday night’s Republican debate at Mohegan Sun, conservative radio moderator Lee Elci posed the query. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "Politics and the Price of Milk," 14 July 2018 The weather service also warned that DFW Airport could experience lightning and rain falling at roughly a half-inch per hour. Gordon Dickson, star-telegram, "Hail in July? Scattered heavy storms pack a punch across North Texas," 12 July 2018 The app provides information about weather hazards like turbulence, lightning or hail that’s more accurate and easier to interpret than pilots used to be able to get after takeoff, said Tom Staigle, Delta’s chief technical pilot. Lauren Zumbach, chicagotribune.com, "From birthday wishes for passengers to tracking baggage handler injuries, airlines tap big data to try to improve operations," 12 July 2018 Zorn’s saxophone and Laswell’s bass are elemental forces — like lightning and thunder — visceral, tangible and looking to touch a nerve. Joshua Zucker, SFChronicle.com, "John Zorn and Bill Laswell make rare duo appearance at the Chapel," 11 July 2018 According to statistics compiled by the National Weather Service, there have been 13 lightning deaths in the United States this year. Zachary Hansen, ajc, "North Georgia man struck, killed by lightning at Fourth of July celebration," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

When not taking measurements, crews on Hurricane Hunters see sights few others do: lightning traveling around the walls of a storm’s eye. Justin Wm. Moyer, Washington Post, "‘God was flying the plane’: Hurricane Hunters land in D.C. during public tour," 9 May 2017 That’s the most since 2007, when lightning killed 45 people. The Denver Post, "Colorado is the third deadliest state for fatal lightning strikes," 8 May 2017

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

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First Known Use of lightning

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1576, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1903, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lightning

Noun

Middle English, from gerund of lightenen to lighten

Adjective

see lightning entry 1

Verb

see lightning entry 1

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Learn More about lightning

Statistics for lightning

Last Updated

18 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lightning

The first known use of lightning was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for lightning

lightning

noun

English Language Learners Definition of lightning

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the flashes of light that are produced in the sky during a storm

lightning

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of lightning (Entry 2 of 2)

: moving or done very quickly

lightning

noun
light·ning | \ ˈlīt-niŋ \

Kids Definition of lightning

: the flashing of light caused by the passing of electricity from one cloud to another or between a cloud and the earth

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Comments on lightning

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