Light"ning (līt"nĭng), vb.
n. Lightening. [R.]
Light"ning (līt"nĭng), n.
[For lightening, fr. lighten to flash.]
1. A discharge of atmospheric electricity,
accompanied by a vivid flash of light, commonly from one cloud to
another, sometimes from a cloud to the earth. The sound produced by
the electricity in passing rapidly through the atmosphere constitutes
2. The act of making bright, or the state of
being made bright; enlightenment; brightening, as of the mental
Ball lightning, a rare form of lightning
sometimes seen as a globe of fire moving from the clouds to the
earth. -- Chain lightning, lightning in
angular, zigzag, or forked flashes. -- Heat
lightning, more or less vivid and extensive flashes of
electric light, without thunder, seen near the horizon, esp. at the
close of a hot day. -- Lightning arrester
(Telegraphy), a device, at the place where a wire enters a
building, for preventing injury by lightning to an operator or
instrument. It consists of a short circuit to the ground interrupted
by a thin nonconductor over which lightning jumps. Called also
lightning discharger. -- Lightning bug
(Zoöl.), a luminous beetle. See Firefly.
-- Lightning conductor, a lightning rod. -
- Lightning glance, a quick, penetrating glance
of a brilliant eye. -- Lightning rod, a
metallic rod set up on a building, or on the mast of a vessel, and
connected with the earth or water below, for the purpose of
protecting the building or vessel from lightning. --
Sheet lightning, a diffused glow of electric
light flashing out from the clouds, and illumining their outlines.
The appearance is sometimes due to the reflection of light from
distant flashes of lightning by the nearer clouds.