So when the Today show staged a flash mob earlier this month, it had the effect of beating a dead horse.
Lightning bolts are dispersed with little more than a flash and a bang.
“In a flash, everything came crashing down on me at once,” Jonson says.
Once in a while he might see a flash behind that front he puts up.
When children on the streets see an officer drive by, they flash a smile, wave peace signs in the air, and chant “jaysh al hur!”
He shook his fist at them savagely, then disappeared like a flash into the woods.
In a flash he drew his revolver, but Clif was too quick for him.
All this he said in one breath, in a flash of forked lightning, as it were.
Chichester took in the situation in a flash of grieved insight.
Then followed a crash and a flash over the place where the boys knew the capital lay in darkness and gloom.
late 14c., from flasken (c.1300) "to dash or splash" (as water), probably imitative. Related: Flashed; flashing. Sense of "give off a sudden burst of light or flame" is 1540s. Flash flood is from 1940. Flash card is from 1923. Flash cube (remember those?) is from 1965.
1560s, from flash (v.); originally of lightning. Meaning "first news report" is from 1857. Meaning "photographic lamp" is from 1913. The comic book character dates to 1940. Flash in the pan (1809) is from old-style guns, where the powder might ignite in the pan but fail to spark the main charge.