lightning rod

noun

Definition of lightning rod

  1. 1 :  a grounded metallic rod set up on a structure (as a building) to protect it from lightning

  2. 2 :  one that serves to divert attack from another

  3. 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.>

1773

First Known Use of lightning rod

1773


LIGHTNING ROD Defined for English Language Learners

lightning rod

noun

Definition of lightning rod for English Language Learners

  • : 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


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