Definition of lightning rod in US English:

lightning rod


  • 1A metal rod or wire fixed to an exposed part of a building or other tall structure to divert lightning harmlessly into the ground.

    • ‘In a thunderstorm, the safest place to be is inside a large building equipped with lightning rods.’
    • ‘In this way, it can be observed that sometimes the structure amplifies more than the lightning conductor itself.’
    • ‘The provision of a lightning conductor system will not prevent the occurrence of a lightning strike.’
    • ‘As you can see, the purpose of the lightning rod is not to attract lightning - it merely provides a safe option for the lightning strike to choose.’
    • ‘Indeed the dome and the lightning rod passed their first real test when they weathered the severe hurricane of July 1788 without incident.’
    • ‘During 1971-1979, I was active in scientific research on atmospheric electricity during thunderstorms, including a study of the difference between lightning rods with blunt and sharp tips.’
    • ‘The most commonly used system on spires is the Franklin lightning conductor developed by Benjamin Franklin.’
    • ‘This device was described by Benjamin Wilson in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1778 to demonstrate that the lightning conductor should end in a ball rather than a point.’
    • ‘For this talk I am looking for information about the electrostatics involved and how the lightning conductors work.’
    • ‘Care should be exercised in the selection of metal conductors to ensure the integrity of the lightning conductor for an extended period.’
    • ‘Franklin based his lightning rod on the discovery that electrified objects could be discharged by approaching them with a metal needle.’
    • ‘Air terminals, or lightning rods, are designed to take any lightning bolt that may strike in the immediate area.’
    • ‘But traditional lightning rods can become saturated with electricity and turn into magnets for lightning.’
    • ‘A typical building lightning conductor has an inductance in the order of 15 microhenries per foot.’
    • ‘This item highlights Benjamin Franklin's proposal to experiment with the lightning rod to test his theory that lightning is electrical.’
    • ‘Don't be tempted to run the lightning conductor in the cable duct or alongside any other cabling.’
    • ‘These were three or four feet tall, and sat on the roof peak; the lightning rod ran up through this brace.’
    • ‘The invention relates to a lightning conductor for the protection of high-tension electrical devices in a metallic casing.’
    • ‘The efficacy of lightning rods in preventing damage from strikes has been established so well over the years that lightning protection is now routinely required on large buildings open to the public.’
    • ‘In London, members of the Royal Society were amused when Franklin's letter about lightning conductors was read to the Society, and they did not publish it in their Philosophical Transactions.’
    1. 1.1 A person or thing that attracts a lot of criticism, especially in order to divert attention from more serious issues or to allow a more important public figure to appear blameless.
      • ‘At the same time that women began acting the parts of gay but forceful comic heroines, demanding various freedoms from their lovers in proviso scenes, women became lightning rods for criticism of the King.’
      • ‘He has been a lightning rod for criticism, despite his many successes, including his role as the prime mover in the rapid sequencing of the human genome.’
      • ‘To his critics he was a lightning rod, attracting fear and vituperation.’
      • ‘The idea of government stepping into this is one of those issues that is sure to be a lightning rod for criticism.’
      • ‘Indeed, the company is hardly oblivious to how the ‘trust’ issue has become much more a lightning rod of public sentiment.’
      • ‘Some people phrase it as being a lightning rod for criticism.’
      • ‘That alone, however, should not be the lightning rod of criticism for this film.’
      • ‘He emerged as a lightning rod for criticism after appearing unaware of the extent of the humanitarian disaster that unfolded after the hurricane hit.’
      • ‘This issue became a lightning rod for old cold warriors on the executive council, the main leadership body of the federation.’
      • ‘Rarely does a play become a lightning rod for public discourse.’
      • ‘I tell you she's a very controversial figure, a lightning rod.’
      • ‘Prince Philip has often been controversial, but this has operated like a lightning rod deflecting criticism from the Queen herself.’
      • ‘Through interviews and exhaustive research, he does a good job of presenting the circumstances which have made the church such a lightning rod for criticism.’
      • ‘A lightning rod for attention even before it opened, the film has earned plaudits from critics' groups along with predictable sneers, and provoked argument over its gay bona fides.’
      • ‘At first, the term Buffalo Commons was a lightning rod, attracting doomsday prophets and defenders of civilized life in small towns and rural areas across the Great Plains.’
      • ‘Sometimes, these bases become a lightning rod for criticism.’
      • ‘He has made himself a lightning conductor, deflecting the attention away from Blair.’
      • ‘I don't have a thing against the man, and in fact, he may be a lovely person, but he became a lightning rod for an issue which is fundamental to blogging.’
      • ‘By being out front on a number of issues, it has become a lightning rod of criticism for conservative theologians.’
      • ‘In that respect she now becomes something of a lightning rod on the issue whether she likes it or not.’


lightning rod

/ˈlaɪtnɪŋ ˌrɑd/