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[flash-lahyt] /ˈflæʃˌlaɪt/
Also called, especially British, torch. a small, portable electric lamp powered by dry batteries, LEDs, or a tiny generator.
a light that flashes, as a lighthouse beacon.
any source of artificial light as used in flash photography.
Origin of flashlight
First recorded in 1885-90; flash + light1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for flashlight
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A flashlight gleamed for an instant and Dr. Bird started in surprise.

    Poisoned Air Sterner St. Paul Meek
  • He turned the flashlight for an instant on his own face, and Dr. Bird gazed at him keenly.

    Poisoned Air Sterner St. Paul Meek
  • The feeble ray of the flashlight was lost in the blackness below.

  • It was her first experience with a flashlight, and she marvelled at its power.

    'Smiles' Eliot H. Robinson
  • That flashlight business is going to pan out just great, I can see.

British Dictionary definitions for flashlight


(mainly US & Canadian) a small portable electric lamp powered by one or more dry batteries Also called (in Britain and certain other countries) torch
(photog) the brief bright light emitted by an electronic flash unit Sometimes shortened to flash
(mainly US & Canadian) a light that flashes, used for signalling, in a lighthouse, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for flashlight

American English for what the British might call an electric torch; 1919, from flash + light (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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