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Denotation vs. Connotation

lightning rod

noun
1.
a rodlike conductor installed to divert lightning away from a structure by providing a direct path to the ground.
2.
a person or thing that attracts and absorbs powerful and especially negative or hostile feelings, opinions, etc., thereby diverting such feelings from other targets:
The unpopular supervisor served as a lightning rod for the criticism that should have been aimed at management.
Origin of lightning rod
1780-1790
1780-90, Americanism
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for lightning rod
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I've looked over your entire premises and I find you haven't got a lightning rod on any buildin' that you possess.

  • I could not see the lightning rod now, but I knew that it was there.

    Abroad at Home Julian Street
  • We're acting as lightning rod for the whole valley, being the highest and best conductor.

    A World is Born Leigh Douglass Brackett
  • Hartmut, you must do me a favor; you must be my lightning rod.

    The Northern Light E. Werner
  • It is said that this was the first lightning rod erected in New Hampshire.

    Historic Shrines of America John T. (John Thomson) Faris
lightning rod in Science
lightning rod  
A grounded metal rod placed high on a structure to conduct electrical current from a lightning strike directly to the ground, preventing the currents from injuring people or animals or from damaging objects. Lightning rods usually have a sharp, pointed tip, since electric lines of force are more highly concentrated around pointed objects, in this case increasing the attractiveness of the rod compared with other nearby objects. See also Saint Elmo's fire.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for lightning rod

lightning rod

noun

Someone or something that draws the attention, esp criticism, for an issue or problem: press secretary is the lightning rod for the President

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Word Value for lightning

14
18
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