Saint Elmo's fire


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Saint El·mo's fire

 (ĕl′mōz)
n.
A visible electric discharge on a pointed object, such as the mast of a ship or the wing of an airplane, during an electrical storm. Also called corposant.

[After Saint Elmo, fourth-century ad patron saint of sailors.]

Saint Elmo's fire

(ˈɛlməʊz)
n
(General Physics) (not in technical usage) a luminous region that sometimes appears around church spires, the masts of ships, etc. It is a corona discharge in the air caused by atmospheric electricity. Also called: corposant
[C16: so called because it was associated with Saint Elmo (a corruption, via Sant'Ermo, of Saint Erasmus, died 303) the patron saint of Mediterranean sailors]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Saint Elmo's fire - an electrical discharge accompanied by ionization of surrounding atmosphereSaint Elmo's fire - an electrical discharge accompanied by ionization of surrounding atmosphere
arc, electric arc, electric discharge, spark, discharge - electrical conduction through a gas in an applied electric field
References in periodicals archive ?
He entered the storm and expertly maintained aircraft control despite numerous close range lightning strikes and Saint Elmo's fire enveloping the jet.
While in the clouds, we saw a spectacular Saint Elmo's fire display on the front windscreen.
Moore, who had to undergo treatment for alcoholism and drug addiction at the start of her career, before being allowed to complete the film, Saint Elmo's Fire, now portrays herself as a healthy super woman.