from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- 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. A person or thing that is a target for negative reactions and distracts criticism from another target.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- 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.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A pointed, insulated metallic rod erected to protect a building or a vessel from lightning; a lightning-conductor. ;
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- 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
Sorry, no etymologies found.
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.