thunderbolt

noun
thun·​der·​bolt | \ ˈthən-dər-ˌbōlt How to pronounce thunderbolt (audio) \

Definition of thunderbolt

1a : a single discharge of lightning with the accompanying thunder
b : an imaginary elongated mass cast as a missile to earth in the lightning flash
2a : a person or thing that resembles lightning in suddenness, effectiveness, or destructive power
b : a vehement threat or censure

Examples of thunderbolt in a Sentence

He was struck dead by a thunderbolt.
Recent Examples on the Web The first play of the second half brought more issues for the Vikings’ special teams, courtesy of a thunderbolt from their past. Ben Goessling, Star Tribune, "Vikings pass their way past Bears as Kirk Cousins ends Monday night demons," 17 Nov. 2020 The arrests were a thunderbolt, but they could not be called a surprise, certainly not to Mr. Abdel-Razek. New York Times, "Accepting the Danger of Human Rights Work in Egypt, With Food and Humor," 30 Nov. 2020 The first play of the second half brought more issues for the Vikings’ special teams, courtesy of a thunderbolt from their past. Ben Goessling, Star Tribune, "Vikings hold on for a ugly 19-13 win against the Bears," 16 Nov. 2020 Riyad Mahrez's thunderbolt opened the scoring in the first half but Vardy's first penalty of the afternoon leveled the scores just before halftime. Ben Morse, CNN, "Jamie Vardy hits hat trick, Leicester City scores five as it thrashes Manchester City," 27 Sep. 2020 Van Halen’s distinctive tone cut through the sludge of 1970s proto-Metal and British studio excess like a thunderbolt. Will Collier, National Review, "The Virtuosity and Creativity of Van Halen," 7 Oct. 2020 The scientists have handed them over Jove’s thunderbolt. John Dos Passos, National Review, "Reminiscences of a Middle-Class Radical," 28 Sep. 2020 The script saves some of its most fiery material for them, the kind of thunderbolt Sorkin-isms that land with a satisfying crack. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, "Aaron Sorkin goes big and busy in true-life political drama The Trial of the Chicago 7: Review," 25 Sep. 2020 The great jurist’s passing, if not entirely unexpected, has hit our politics like a thunderbolt. Stephen L. Carter Bloomberg Opinion (tns), Star Tribune, "Let's pause to appreciate Ginsburg before we fight over her replacement," 21 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thunderbolt.' 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 thunderbolt

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for thunderbolt

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The first known use of thunderbolt was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Thunderbolt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thunderbolt. Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for thunderbolt

thunderbolt

noun

English Language Learners Definition of thunderbolt

: a flash of lightning that makes a loud sound of thunder and that hits someone or something

thunderbolt

noun
thun·​der·​bolt | \ ˈthən-dər-ˌbōlt How to pronounce thunderbolt (audio) \

Kids Definition of thunderbolt

: a flash of lightning and the thunder that follows it

More from Merriam-Webster on thunderbolt

Nglish: Translation of thunderbolt for Spanish Speakers

Comments on thunderbolt

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