American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A grounded metal rod placed high on a structure to prevent damage by conducting lightning to the ground.
- n. One that attracts and absorbs powerful, typically negative feelings and reactions, thereby diverting interest from other issues: "[His] business dealings have become a lightning rod for criticism” ( Walter Shapiro).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A pointed, insulated metallic rod erected to protect a building or a vessel from lightning; a lightning-conductor. ; Lightning-rods are attached to buildings and other structures for two purposes: to prevent as far as possible sudden discharges of electricity from clouds to earth through or in the neighborhood of the building
- n. A metallic conductor that is attached to a high point of a building and leads to the ground and protects the building from damage by lightning
- n. figuratively A person or thing that is a target for negative reactions and distracts criticism from another target.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. 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.
- n. a metallic conductor that is attached to a high point and leads to the ground; protects the building from destruction by lightning
- n. someone who is a frequent target of negative reactions and serves to distract attention from another
“A day after that thumping Bush dumped his secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, who had become a lightning rod for all the dissatisfactions surrounding the Iraq War, and installed in his place the consummate Washington insider, former CIA director Robert Gates.”
“Three miles away the soaring lightning rod of Pad 39B, designed to protect space shuttles from lightning strikes, provided a sight line toAtlantis.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘lightning rod’.
Very, very frightening.
If you're looking for a list that's just thunderous, see thunder--1.
thunderbolt, thunderbolts and ..., lightning, thunderclap headache, thunderclap, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Lightning Strikin..., lightning never s..., lightning rod, lightning conductor, paratonnerre, lightning arrester and 10 more...
My Friends (that's my bets John McCain impression!)
This is a list of words that I think describe me. Would you be so kind as to vote for the 10 you think are most fitting? Your vote w...
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