American English

Definition of lightning noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

 

lightning

 noun
noun
NAmE//ˈlaɪtnɪŋ//
 
[uncountable]
 
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  • a flash, or several flashes, of very bright light in the sky caused by electricity a flash of lightning a violent storm with thunder and lightning He was struck by lightning and killed. Lightning strikes caused scores of fires across the state. Topic CollocationsThe Weathergood weather be bathed in/bask in/be blessed with/enjoy bright/brilliant/glorious sunshine the sun shines/warms something/beats down (on something) the sunshine breaks/streams through something fluffy/wispy clouds drift across the sky a gentle/light/stiff/cool/warm breeze blows in/comes in off the sea the snow crunches beneath/under somebody's feet/bootsbad weather thick/dark/storm clouds form/gather/roll in/cover the sky/block out the sun the sky darkens/turns black a fine mist hangs in the air a dense/heavy/thick fog rolls in the rain falls/comes down (in buckets/sheets)/pours down snow falls/comes down/covers something/blankets something the wind blows/whistles/howls/picks up/whips through something/sweeps across something strong/gale-force winds blow/gust (up to 80 mph) a storm is approaching/is moving inland/hits/strikes/rages thunder rolls/rumbles/sounds (forked/sheet) lightning strikes/hits/flashes a (blinding/snow) blizzard hits/strikes/blows/rages a tornado touches down/hits/strikes/destroys something/rips through something forecast/expect/predict rain/snow/a category-four hurricane rain pours (down) get caught in/seek shelter from/escape the rain be covered/shrouded in mist/a blanket of fog be in for/brave/shelter from a/the storm hear rolling/distant thunder be battered/buffeted by strong winds battle against/brave the elementsthe weather improves the sun breaks through the clouds the sky clears/brightens (up)/lightens (up) the clouds part/clear the rain stops/lets up/holds off the wind dies down the storm passes the mist/fog lifts/clears
  • Idioms
    lightning never strikes (in the same place) twice (saying)
     
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    an unusual or unpleasant event is not likely to happen in the same place or to the same people twice
    like (greased) lightning
     
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    very fast He leapt out of the car like lightning.
    See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: lightning