Definition of St Elmo's fire in English:

St Elmo's fire


mass noun
  • A phenomenon in which a luminous electrical discharge appears on a ship or aircraft during a storm.

    • ‘Another possibility is St Elmo's fire caused by a strong low level electrical field.’
    • ‘St Elmo's fire is usually seen at the top of tall objects such as church steeples, trees or the wings of airplanes. Often a crackling sound is heard along with it.’
    • ‘St. Elmo's Fire has long served as an omen of heavenly intervention to sailors.’


Regarded as a sign of protection given by St Elmo, the patron saint of sailors.


St Elmo's fire