ball lightning love

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A rare form of lightning in the shape of a glowing red ball, associated with thunderstorms and thought to consist of ionized gas.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A short-lived, glowing ball sometimes observed to float in the air; thought to consist of ionized gas associated with thunderstorms

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a rare form of lightning sometimes seen as a globe of fire moving from the clouds to the earth.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An electric discharge which appears as a ball of fire descending from the atmosphere to the earth, rolling slowly along the ground or the rigging of a vessel, and eventually exploding violently, leaving a strong sulphurous or ozone odor: a form of natural atmospheric lightning. Although rare, the reality of this phenomenon is supported by several well-authenticated cases.

Etymologies

A calque of German Kugelblitz. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • From USA Today: "Extremely rare, nearly phantom, luminous spheres. Less than three feet wide, these glowing balls have been seen coming from some of the more violent thunderstorms, which contain lots of lightning. In nearly all reported cases, the observers saw another form of lightning flash before seeing ball lightning. Lasting from several seconds to several minutes, the spheres can simply vanish after traveling slowly toward the ground. Usually no damage is left behind by ball lightning, but at times they have traveled through windows and screens, leaving behind burn marks. Reports of ball lightning have come from passengers on planes as well as from people in their homes or on ships. Still, some scientists don't believe ball lightning exists."

    September 23, 2007