Spark vs Lightning - What's the difference?

spark | lightning |


In figuratively|lang=en terms the difference between spark and lightning

is that spark is (figuratively) a small amount of something, such as an idea, that has the potential to become something greater, just as a spark can start a fire while lightning is (figuratively) anything that moves very fast.

As nouns the difference between spark and lightning

is that spark is a small particle of glowing matter, either molten or on fire or spark can be a gallant, a foppish young man while lightning is a flash of light produced by short-duration, high-voltage discharge of electricity within a cloud, between clouds, or between a cloud and the earth.

As verbs the difference between spark and lightning

is that spark is to trigger, kindle into activity (an argument, etc) or spark can be to woo, court while lightning is (impersonal|childish|or|nonstandard) to produce lightning.

As an adjective lightning is

extremely fast or sudden.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?

spark

English

(wikipedia spark)

Etymology 1

From Middle English sparke, sperke, from Old English spearca, from (etyl) ).

Noun

(en noun)
  • A small particle of glowing matter, either molten or on fire.
  • A short or small burst of electrical discharge.
  • A small, shining body, or transient light; a sparkle.
  • (figuratively) A small amount of something, such as an idea, that has the potential to become something greater, just as a spark can start a fire.
  • * Shakespeare
  • if any spark of life be yet remaining
  • * John Locke
  • We have here and there a little clear light, some sparks of bright knowledge .
  • * 2013 , Phil McNulty, "[http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/23830980]", BBC Sport , 1 September 2013:
  • Everton's Marouane Fellaini looks one certain arrival but Moyes, who also saw United held to a draw by Chelsea at Old Trafford on Monday, needs even more of a spark in a midfield that looked laboured by this team's standards.
  • (in plural'' sparks ''but treated as a singular ) A ship's radio operator.
  • (UK, slang) An electrician.
  • Synonyms
    * gnast * beginnings, germ, glimmer
    Derived terms
    * sparkle * bright spark * spark arrester * spark coil * spark gap * spark knock * spark of life * spark plug * spark transmitter * sparks fly

    Verb

    (en verb)
  • To trigger, kindle into activity (an argument, etc).
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2012 , date=May 5 , author=Phil McNulty , title=Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool , work=BBC Sport citation , page= , passage=The introduction of substitute Andy Carroll sparked Liverpool into life and he pulled a goal back just after the hour - and thought he had equalised as Kenny Dalglish's side laid siege to Chelsea's goal in the closing stages.}}
  • To give off a spark or sparks.
  • Derived terms
    * spark off * sparkle

    Etymology 2

    probably Scandinavian, akin to (etyl) sparkr 'sprightly'

    Noun

    (en noun)
  • A gallant, a foppish young man.
  • * Prior
  • The finest sparks and cleanest beaux.
  • A beau, lover.
  • Verb

    (en verb)
  • To woo, court.
  • Derived terms

    * sparkish * sparker

    References

    *

    Anagrams

    * ----

    lightning

    Noun

    (en-noun)
  • A flash of light produced by short-duration, high-voltage discharge of electricity within a cloud, between clouds, or between a cloud and the earth.
  • Although we did not see the lightning , we did hear the thunder.
  • * 1901 , E. L. Morris, The Child's Eden , page 16:
  • It was the thought of hot July and August days, when the clouds piled up like woolly mountains, and lightnings streaked the sky.
  • A discharge of this kind.
  • The lightning was hot enough to melt the sand.
    That tree was hit by lightning .
  • * 1881 , Daniel Pierce Thompson, The Green Mountain Boys , page 281:
  • The rain at length ceased; and the lightnings , as they played along the black parapet of clouds, that lay piled in the east, shone with less dazzling fierceness,
  • (figuratively) Anything that moves very fast.
  • * 1918 , (Edgar Rice Burroughs), , chapter V:
  • Nobs, though, was lightning by comparison with the slow thinking beast and dodged his opponent's thrust with ease. Then he raced to the rear of the tremendous thing and seized it by the tail.
  • The act of making bright, or the state of being made bright; enlightenment; brightening, as of the mental powers.
  • (Webster 1913)

    Quotations

    * 2008 , Kathy Clark, Stand By Your Man , page 280: *: Manny drove a few miles per hour under the speed limit, entranced by the awesome display of lightning streaking out of the clouds toward earth.

    Derived terms

    * ball lightning * Jewish lightning * greased lightning * lightning bug * lightning bolt * lightning conductor * lightning detector * lightning in a bottle * lightning rod * sheet lightning * upward lightning

    Coordinate terms

    * thunderbolt

    Adjective

    (-)
  • Extremely fast or sudden.
  • Moving at the speed of lightning.
  • Verb

    (en verb)
  • (impersonal, childish, or, nonstandard) To produce lightning.
  • * 1916 , Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Understood Betsy
  • Or if it thundered and lightninged , Aunt Frances always dropped everything she might be doing and held Elizabeth Ann tightly in her arms until it was all over.
  • * 1968 , Dan Greenburg, Chewsday: a sex novel
  • The next day, though it is not only raining but thundering and lightninging as well, antiquing is seen by three-fourths of those present as a lesser evil than free play.
  • * 1987 , Tricia Springstubb, Eunice Gottlieb and the unwhitewashed truth about life
  • "Hey!" yelled Reggie, pulling her back. "Get in here! It's lightninging . I don't want a charcoal-broiled friend!"
  • * 1988 , Carlo Collodi, Roberto Innocenti, The adventures of Pinocchio
  • I don't know, Father, but believe me, it has been a horrible night — one that I'll never forget. It thundered and lightninged , and I was very hungry.

    Usage notes

    * bolt, flash, strike are some of the words used to count lightning. * The standard, but rare, verb for "lightning occurs" is lighten, used only in the impersonal form "it lightens", or as "it’s lightening".