Definition of lightning rod in English:

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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.
Example sentences
  • The provision of a lightning conductor system will not prevent the occurrence of a lightning strike.
  • A typical building lightning conductor has an inductance in the order of 15 microhenries per foot.
  • Don't be tempted to run the lightning conductor in the cable duct or alongside any other cabling.
1.1A 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.
Example sentences
  • He emerged as a lightning rod for criticism after appearing unaware of the extent of the humanitarian disaster that unfolded after the hurricane hit.
  • The idea of government stepping into this is one of those issues that is sure to be a lightning rod for criticism.
  • To his critics he was a lightning rod, attracting fear and vituperation.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: light·ning rod

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