lightning

noun
light·​ning | \ ˈlīt-niŋ How to pronounce lightning (audio) \

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

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 Officers with the Secret Service and the U.S. Park Police witnessed the lightning strike Thursday night and ran over to render first aid, officials said. CBS News, 8 Aug. 2022 The fire at the Matanzas industrial complex that began Friday night after a lightning strike has left at least 122 injured and 17 missing, the presidency and state-run media reported. Jim Wyss, BostonGlobe.com, 7 Aug. 2022 The lightning strike stopped Amber’s heart, said her brother Robert F. Escudero. Vanessa G. Sánchez, Washington Post, 7 Aug. 2022 The major fire at the Matanzas Supertanker Base was set off by a lightning strike on Friday night, injuring 120 and leaving at least one person dead and more than a dozen firefighters missing, authorities said. Santiago Pérez, WSJ, 7 Aug. 2022 Representatives of the Secret Service and the U.S. Park Police witnessed the lightning strike about 7 p.m. Thursday in the park, which is just across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, 6 Aug. 2022 Spokesperson Vito Maggiolo said the lightning strike was witnessed by members of the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Park Police, who responded to the scene. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, 5 Aug. 2022 James Mueller, 76, and Donna Mueller, 75, of Janesville, Wisconsin, died of their injuries after the lightning strike in Lafayette Park, located directly outside the White House complex. Chicago Tribune Staff, Chicago Tribune, 5 Aug. 2022 Spokesperson Vito Maggiolo said the lightning strike was witnessed by members of the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Park Police, who responded to the scene. Steven Martinez, Journal Sentinel, 5 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Of those, about 3,000 people are struck by lightning each year, and about 20 people die. Christine Fernando, USA TODAY, 11 Aug. 2022 Brooks Lambertson, a vice president for City National Bank, was in Washington, D.C., on business when he was hit by lightning Thursday night in Lafayette Park, the bank said in a statement Saturday. CBS News, 8 Aug. 2022 The National Outdoor Leadership School said a group was camping Tuesday evening in the Absaroka Mountains when a 22-year-old student was struck by lightning and went into cardiac arrest, according to a statement. Nick Stoico, BostonGlobe.com, 6 Aug. 2022 Brooks Lambertson, a vice president for City National Bank, was in the nation’s capital on business when he was struck by lightning Thursday night. James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, 6 Aug. 2022 Both fires were started by lightning near the Plumas National Forest. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 July 2021 In total, 18 fires have spread to more than 785,000 acres west of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve since the first fire started by lightning on June 16. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 8 July 2022 An estimated 30 Americans are killed by lightning annually. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, 23 June 2022 In contrast, the National Weather Service estimates approximately 270 people in the U.S. are struck by lightning each year. Emily Mae Czachor, CBS News, 4 July 2022 See More

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.

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, Adjective, and Verb

Middle English, from gerund of lightenen to lighten

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best lightning cables.

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Time Traveler for lightning

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near lightning

lightness

lightning

lightning arrester

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Statistics for lightning

Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lightning.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lightning. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for lightning

lightning

noun
light·​ning | \ ˈlīt-niŋ How to pronounce lightning (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on lightning

Nglish: Translation of lightning for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lightning for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lightning

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