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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
1780-1790
1780-90, Americanism
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for lightning rod
  • Lightning protection for the station is provided by a lightning rod at the top of the tower.
  • Packer's blunt style made him a lightning rod for debate.
  • But he keeps for himself the role of lightning rod when flashes of white-hot rage fill his e-mail and voice-mail in-boxes.
  • Instead, by applying a pointed lightning rod the charge is dissipated slowly keeping the electrical potential difference low.
  • The lightning rod which tops the dome is a story in itself.
  • During thunderstorms, a crane boom can become a lightning rod.
  • Remove metallic objects from your pack or clothing and stay faraway from anything that might serve as a lightning rod.
  • Do not stand underneath a natural lightning rod such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area.
  • Repairs were made that same year and the lightning rod system was upgraded.
  • However, this option has served as a lightning rod for criticism.
British Dictionary definitions for lightning rod

lightning conductor

noun
1.
a metal strip terminating in a series of sharp points, attached to the highest part of a building, etc, to discharge the electric field before it can reach a dangerous level and cause a lightning strike
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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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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Encyclopedia Article for lightning rod

metallic rod (usually copper) that protects a structure from lightning damage by intercepting flashes and guiding their currents into the ground. Because lightning tends to strike the highest object in the vicinity, rods are typically placed at the apex of a structure and along its ridges; they are connected to the ground by low-impedance cables. In the case of a building, the soil is used as the ground; on a ship, the water is used.

Learn more about lightning rod with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Word Value for lightning

14
18
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