- Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see lightning, bolt.
- 1913, Popular Electricity and the World's Advance, page 192:
- Shortly after dinner one day — it was a hot summer afternoon — a very severe thunderstorm broke out over the city and after it had lasted some ten to fifteen minutes an exceptionally bright lightning bolt flashed through the air followed immediately by a terrific crash of thunder.
- (metaphoric) Something that shocks or energizes, especially something that does so suddenly.
- 2011, Mary Ashburn Miller, A Natural History of Revolution, →ISBN:
- In this sense there was an uncomfortable similarity between the lettre de cachet, the “lightning bolt of despotism,” and the people that judged, not like a court of law, but like a force of nature.
- 2012, Trisha David, Falling For Jack, →ISBN:
- She'd found her lightning bolt, but he didn't want her.
- 2017 May 13, Barney Ronay, “Antonio Conte’s brilliance has turned Chelsea’s pop-up team into champions”, in the Guardian:
- In Conte Chelsea have something different, a manager who inherited a messy, enervated squad fresh from the worst title defence in 25 years and threw a lightning bolt through pretty much the same group of players to create a fresh champion team.