Etymology
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thunderbolt (n.)

mid-15c., from thunder (n.) + bolt (n.) "arrow, projectile."

updated on February 09, 2014

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Definitions of thunderbolt from WordNet

thunderbolt (n.)
a shocking surprise;
Synonyms: bombshell / thunderclap
thunderbolt (n.)
a discharge of lightning accompanied by thunder;
Synonyms: bolt / bolt of lightning
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.