Definition of lightning rod in English:

lightning rod

Syllabification: light·ning 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.
    More 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.
    More 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.

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a slit made by cutting with a saw