A shaft of lightning; a brilliant stream of electricity passing from one part of the heavens to another, or from the clouds to the earth.
- A discharge of lightning accompanied by thunder.
- A flash of lightning conceived as a bolt or dart hurled from the heavens.
- One that acts with sudden and destructive fury.
- A startling, forceful action: "Every political campaign manager saves a thunderbolt for the last week before Election Day” ( Art Buchwald).