heat-lightning

heat lightning

noun
lightning too distant for thunder to be heard, observed as diffuse flashes near the horizon on summer evenings.

Origin:
1825–35, Americanism

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
heat lightning
 
n
flashes of light seen near the horizon, esp on hot evenings: reflections of more distant lightning

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
heat lightning  
Intermittent flashes of reddish or orange light near the horizon, usually seen on a hot summer evening and unaccompanied by thunder. Heat lightning is thought to be the reflection of distant lightning on clouds. Its color is believed to be due to the refraction of light in the atmosphere. See also sheet lightning, See more at lightning.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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