Meaning of LIGHTNING in English


I. ˈlītniŋ, -nēŋ noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English lightning, lightening, from gerund of lihtenen, lightenen to lighten — more at lighten (illuminate)

1. obsolete : the action of giving light : illumination , enlightenment

a lightning before death — Shakespeare

2. : the flashing of light produced by a discharge of atmospheric electricity from one cloud to another or from a cloud to the earth ; also : the discharge itself

3. slang : cheap whiskey of poor quality

4. : a sudden stroke of good fortune ; especially : a nomination or selection for high political office

a multiplicity of candidates, including favorite sons hoping for real lightning to strike — Time

5. often capitalized : one of a class of racing sailboats about 19 feet in length that are sloop-rigged and have a centerboard

II. adjective

: moving with or having the speed and suddenness of lightning

the jargon of the auctioneer as he works with lightning rapidity — American Guide Series: North Carolina

the lightning speed of modern warfare — F.D.Roosevelt

superb fighters, masters of the lightning raid — Seth Agnew

made lightning descents on the native villages — Tom Marvel

III. intransitive verb

( lightninged ; lightninged ; lightning ; lightnings )

: to discharge a flash of lightning

it is lightning more than ever

it lightninged terribly last night

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.