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Denotation vs. Connotation

ball lightning

noun
1.
a rare form of lightning, consisting of a bright, luminous ball that moves rapidly along objects or floats in the air.
Also called globe lightning.
Origin of ball lightning
1855-1860
1855-60
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ball lightning
Historical Examples
  • Someone, says a ball lightning came down and broke over there.

    Pursuit Lester del Rey
  • As to what ball lightning is, we have not yet begun to make intelligent guesses.

    The Book of the Damned Charles Fort
  • He returned to his adaptation of the Lawlor drive to the production of ball lightning.

    The Pirates of Ersatz Murray Leinster
  • In the Monthly Weather Review, 33-409, there is an account of "ball lightning" that struck a tree.

    The Book of the Damned Charles Fort
  • We are still far from understanding the interesting problem of the formation and nature of ball lightning.

    Thunder and Lightning Camille Flammarion
  • It was based on the fact that ball lightning could be generated by a circuit fundamentally akin to the other two.

    The Pirates of Ersatz Murray Leinster
  • In truth, ball lightning seems in a certain measure to escape the influence of lightning conductors.

    Thunder and Lightning Camille Flammarion
  • A ball lightning bolt, even of only warning size, makes things uncomfortable when it strikes.

    The Pirates of Ersatz Murray Leinster
  • This one mentioned the two mysterious explosions of "ball lightning" in a feature on the first page, but only as curiosities.

    Pursuit Lester del Rey
British Dictionary definitions for ball lightning

ball lightning

noun
1.
(meteorol) a luminous electrically charged ball occasionally seen during electrical storms
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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ball lightning in Science
ball lightning  
A rare form of lightning in the shape of a glowing red ball, associated with thunderstorms and sometimes accompanied by a loud noise. Ball lightning is thought to consist of ionized gas.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Difficulty index for ball lightning

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ball

6
9
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