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English definition of “lightning rod”

lightning rod

noun [C] uk   US us  
(UK lightning conductor) a strip of metal, going from the highest point of a building to the ground, that prevents lightning from damaging the building by taking the electricity to the ground before it can reach a dangerous level someone or something that takes all the blame for a situation, although other people or things are responsible too: In a harsh economic climate, raises for teachers have become a lightning rod for criticism.
(Definition of lightning rod from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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