Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating

chain lightning

Chiefly Northeastern and Western U.S. lightning that seems to move very quickly in wavy or zigzag lines.
Origin of chain lightning
1825-35, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for chain-lightning
Historical Examples
  • The trenchant manner, the statuesque drapery, the chain-lightning effects, were much as they were afterwards seen in this country.

    Is Polite Society Polite? Julia Ward Howe
  • A storm-burst of laughter, mingled with shouts of "By jiminy, but he's chain-lightning!"

  • I never 20 saw such a girl as you are for chain-lightning projects!

  • "I wish I had control of chain-lightning for a few minutes," says O., the droll fellow of our company.

  • Anyhow, I found myself riding away straight south as if I were on a streak of chain-lightning.

    Track's End Hayden Carruth
  • He was slow of speech, chain-lightning in action, respected generally, feared a lot.

    Big Timber Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • We have mid-day dinner, which Olie bolts in silence and with the rapidity of chain-lightning.

    The Prairie Wife Arthur Stringer
British Dictionary definitions for chain-lightning

chain lightning

another name for forked lightning
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
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for chain-lightning

chain lightning

noun phrase

Inferior whiskey (1843+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for chain

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for chain-lightning