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90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for flashlight
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And now the flashlight again, searching the mechanism of the inner door—then darkness once more.

  • You read character by flashlight along the barrel of your revolver.

    Stingaree E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung
  • Wondering what it could be, he approached noiselessly and turned his flashlight upon the visitor.

  • When Gabe threw his own flashlight away and busted it I nearly exploded.

    The Rover Boys Under Canvas Arthur M. Winfield
  • Upon the top was a tiny platform, and here he turned on his flashlight.

    Roy Blakeley in the Haunted Camp Percy Keese Fitzhugh
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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