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thunderbolt (plural thunderbolts)
- A flash of lightning accompanied by a crash of thunder.
- c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. […] The First Part […], part 1, 2nd edition, London: […] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, […], published 1592, OCLC 932920499; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act II, scene iii:
- Our quiuering Lances ſhaking in the aire, / And bullets like Ioues dreadfull Thunderbolts, / Enrolde in flames and fiery ſmoldering miſtes, / Shall threat the Gods more than Cyclopian warres, […]
- (figuratively) An event that is terrible, horrific or unexpected.
- News of the actress’s death came as a thunderbolt to her fans.
- Vehement threatening or censure; especially, ecclesiastical denunciation; fulmination.
- (soccer) A very powerful shot.
- (paleontology) A belemnite, or thunderstone.
- (heraldry) A charge in the form of two joined bundles with four rays of lightning emerging from them, resembling the thunderbolt of Jupiter.
- A daring or irresistible hero.
flash of lightning accompanied by thunder
an event that is terrible, horrific or unexpected