sheet-lightning

sheet lightning

noun
lightning appearing merely as a general illumination over a broad area, usually because the path of the flash is obscured by clouds.

Origin:
1820–30

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
sheet lightning
 
n
lightning that appears as a broad sheet, caused by the reflection of more distant lightning

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
sheet lightning   (shēt)  Pronunciation Key 
A broad, sheetlike illumination of a portion of a thundercloud, caused by an unseen, often internal or reflected lightning flash. See also heat lightning, See more at lightning.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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