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Definition of "thunderbolt" []

  • A discharge of lightning accompanied by thunder. (noun)
  • A flash of lightning conceived as a bolt or dart hurled from the heavens. (noun)
  • One that acts with sudden and destructive fury. (noun)
  • A startling, forceful action: "Every political campaign manager saves a thunderbolt for the last week before Election Day” ( Art Buchwald). (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "thunderbolt" in a sentence
  • "That which we call the thunderbolt is true as regards all the passions."
  • "Their downfall came sudden and terrible like “a thunderbolt from the blue.”"
  • "However, the word thunderbolt has survived to us from the days when people still believed that the thing which did the damage during a thunderstorm was really and truly a gigantic white-hot bolt or arrow; and, as there is a natural tendency in human nature to fit an existence to every word, people even now continue to imagine that there must be actually something or other somewhere called a thunderbolt."