1A flash of lightning with a simultaneous crash of thunder.
- I expect she was trying to escape the Suffolk weather, which, when it's not bombarding us with thunderbolts and lightning (very very frightening), is chucking meteorites at us.
- When the bizarre and woefully ugly characters of Royston Vasey experience thunderbolts and lightning in their beloved village, they begin to imagine it is the end of the world.
- However, during thunderbolts and lightning I prefer to exercise caution.
1.1A supposed bolt or shaft believed to be the destructive agent in a lightning flash, especially as an attribute of a god such as Jupiter or Thor.
- In the latter, a monstrous giant steals Zeus's thunderbolts, which are retrieved in a manner similar to Thor's thunderweapons.
- The three brothers became the blacksmiths of the Olympian gods, creating Zeus' thunderbolts, Poseidon's trident.
- The Cyclopes gave Zeus the thunderbolt and Hades a helmet, gave Poseidon his trident.
1.2Used in similes and comparisons to refer to a very sudden or unexpected event or item of news, especially of an unpleasant nature: the full force of what she had been told hit her like a thunderbolt
More example sentences
- The news was a thunderbolt to those who knew the couple.
- Her murder is a political thunderbolt that, if correctly harnessed, could single-handedly save the pro-euro cause.
- It almost seemed a reversal of nature that there should be a reply to the thunderbolts of Clark.
1.3 informal A very fast and powerful shot, throw, or stroke.
- Hogan exposed some poor Roscommon defending before unleashing a thunderbolt of a shot, which flew past Martin and almost burst the net.
- However, he quickly made amends with a crisp strike at the end of another well-worked move and then flying winger Sam Crompton fired high into the net with a thunderbolt of a shot.
- In the 87th minute Trevor Whieldon broke up a Halton attack and found David Knapp on the right wing, Knapp fed Earnshaw, who completed his hat-trick with a thunderbolt shot from just inside the area.
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