sheet lightning

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sheet lightning (usually uncountable, plural sheet lightnings)

  1. A broad flash of lightning, with no visible bolt, due to reflection.
    • 1812, General view of the agriculture, state of property, and improvements in the county of Dumfries[1]:
      In most very warm days in summer the thermometer stands above 70 degrees on the scale of Fahrenheit, about the centre of the county; in the summer of 1811, it stood repeatedly above 80°; and on the 25th of May, 1807, during the time when the sheet lightning of tropical regions appeared, about three in the afternoon, it stood at 92° in the shade within three miles of Moffat!
    • 1859 October 1, “Marvels of Thunder-Storms”, in The Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science, and Art[2], page 216:
      It probably belongs to the class we are accustomed to call sheet lightnings, for these are by far the most frequent in an ordinary storm.
    • 1890 January 1, William Marriott, “Second report of the thunderstorm committee”, in Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society[3], volume 16, number 73:
      The occurrence of sheet lightning in a particular district did not necessarily involve that a thunderstorm was experienced there, for it frequently happened that the storm was a long way off.
    • 2014, Karen Bassie-Sweet, Maya Sacred Geography and the Creator Deities[4], page 95:
      K'iche' diviners believe that they have a kind of soul in their blood in the form of sheet lightning.