Definition of St. Elmo's fire

1. Noun. An electrical discharge accompanied by ionization of surrounding atmosphere.

Definition of St. Elmo's fire

1. Noun. An electrical discharge, or corona, seen around pointed objects, caused by ionization of the atmosphere during storms. ¹

¹ Source:

St. Elmo's Fire Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of St. Elmo's Fire

St. Brigid
St. Bruno
St. Catharines
St. Christopher
St. Christopher-Nevis
St. Cloud
St. Crispin
St. Dabeoc's heath
St. David
St. Denis
St. Dominic
St. Edward the Confessor
St. Edward the Martyr
St. Elias Mountains
St. Elias Range
St. Elmo's fire
St. Elmo's fires
St. Eustatius
St. Francis
St. Francis River
St. George
St. George's
St. George's Cross
St. George's Day
St. Gregory I
St. Gregory of Nazianzen
St. Ignatius
St. Ignatius of Loyola
St. James

Literary usage of St. Elmo's fire

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Chambers's Encyclopaedia: A Dictionary of Universal Knowledge (1901)
"St Elmo s Fire (qv) has also been confounded with it. But setting all these possible cases aside, both fixed and moving ignes fatui have been proved to ..."

2. Electricity: Its Theory, Sources, and Applications by John T. Sprague (1875)
"To this same order belong a variety of natural phenomena, such as what sailors call St. Elmo-s Fire, when the points of masts and yards are tipped with ..."

3. Elementary Lessons in Electricity and Magnetism by Silvanus Phillips Thompson (1915)
"... the similarity between the pale blue flame seen during thundery weather playing at the tips of the masts of ships (called by sailors St. Elmo-s Fire), ..."

4. A Treatise on Electricity, in Theory and Practice by Auguste de La Rive, Charles Vincent Walker (1858)
"Thus, those small flames had been observed which appear on the summits of ships- masts, and which sailors at the present time call St. Elmo-s fire. ..."

5. Natural Philosophy for General Readers and Young Persons by Adolphe Ganot, Edmund Atkinson (1872)
"St. Elmo-s fire is a simple case of induction. The atmospheric electricity acting on conductors decomposes the neutral fluid, attracting the contrary ..."

6. Travels Through the Alps of Savoy: And Other Parts of the Pennine Chain (1844)
"As St Elmo,s fire, the slightly liberated electricity tips the yard-arms and mast-tops of ships with its brilliant star, its ball of fire, or its lambent ..."

7. Pocket-book of Aeronautics by Hermann Wilhelm Ludwig Moedebeck, Octave Chanute (1907)
"The steady discharge of electricity at a high potential from points is called St Elmo-s Fire, eg the discharge from masts, towers and other lofty buildings, ..."

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