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[flash] /flæʃ/
a precedence code for handling messages about initial enemy contact or operational combat messages of extreme urgency within the U.S. military. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for flashs


a sudden short blaze of intense light or flame: a flash of sunlight
a sudden occurrence or display, esp one suggestive of brilliance: a flash of understanding
a very brief space of time: over in a flash
an ostentatious display: a flash of her diamonds
Also called newsflash. a short news announcement concerning a new event
(mainly Brit) Also called patch. an insignia or emblem worn on a uniform, vehicle, etc, to identify its military formation
a patch of bright colour on a dark background, such as light marking on an animal
a volatile mixture of inorganic salts used to produce a glaze on bricks or tiles
  1. a sudden rush of water down a river or watercourse
  2. a device, such as a sluice, for producing such a rush
(photog, informal) short for flashlight (sense 2), flash photography
a ridge of thin metal or plastic formed on a moulded object by the extrusion of excess material between dies
(Yorkshire & Lancashire, dialect) a pond, esp one produced as a consequence of subsidence
(modifier) involving, using, or produced by a flash of heat, light, etc: flash blindness, flash distillation
flash in the pan, a project, person, etc, that enjoys only short-lived success, notoriety, etc
(informal) ostentatious or vulgar
(informal) of or relating to gamblers and followers of boxing and racing
sham or counterfeit
(informal) relating to or characteristic of the criminal underworld
brief and rapid: flash freezing
to burst or cause to burst suddenly or intermittently into flame
to emit or reflect or cause to emit or reflect light suddenly or intermittently
(intransitive) to move very fast: he flashed by on his bicycle
(intransitive) to come rapidly (into the mind or vision)
(intransitive; foll by out or up) to appear like a sudden light: his anger really flashes out at times
  1. to signal or communicate very fast: to flash a message
  2. to signal by use of a light, such as car headlights
(transitive) (informal) to display ostentatiously: to flash money around
(transitive) (informal) to show suddenly and briefly
(intransitive) (Brit, slang) to expose oneself indecently
(transitive) to cover (a roof) with flashing
to send a sudden rush of water down (a river, etc), or to carry (a vessel) down by this method
(in the making of glass) to coat (glass) with a thin layer of glass of a different colour
(transitive) to subject to a brief pulse of heat or radiation
(transitive) to change (a liquid) to a gas by causing it to hit a hot surface
(obsolete) to splash or dash (water)
Word Origin
C14 (in the sense: to rush, as of water): of unknown origin
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 flashs



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for flashs



  1. Excellent; wonderful; dynamite (1970s+ Teenagers)
  2. flashy (1600s+)


  1. Thieves' argot (1718+)
  2. A look; quick glance: We slid into the cross street to take a flash at the alley (1900+)
  3. A person who excels at something, esp in a showy and perhaps superficial way; whiz: He's a flash at math (1603+)
  4. A display of gaudy merchandise or prizes: expensive flash that the mark couldn't win (1920s+ Circus)
  5. rush: Harry shot up a couple of the goof balls and tried to think a bigger and better flash than he got (1960s+ Narcotics)
  6. Distinctive personal style and charm; charisma: Flash is in the clothes, the cars, the walk, the talk (1970s+)
  7. A sudden idea, impulse, or insight: the joy when I get the flash, figure out who did it
  8. Something one is currently doing; bag, thing: His current ''flash,'' as he calls it, tends toward gaucho suits (1970s+)
  9. In decent exposure: He gave her a flash and she squawked
  10. Urination; piss: and said he'd pay double in case of a ''flash,'' which is a delicate way of describing one of nature's indelicate imperatives (1970s+)
  11. Showiness; superficiality; glitter, glitz: For all the flash Carlito's Way is pretty tame (1990s+)


  1. To set up a display of presumed prizes •Flash it, ''to show the bargains offered,'' is found by 1849: Flash the joint (1920s+ Circus)
  2. To vomit •The dated example is flash the hash (1811+)
  3. To have a hallucinatory experience from a narcotic: He flashed he was as big as a mountain (1960s+ Narcotics)
  4. To feel the sudden pleasurable effect of a narcotics injection: As soon as the needle went in, she flashed (1960s+ Narcotics)
  5. To have a sudden idea, insight, or impulse (1920s+)
  6. To expose one's genitals, breasts, etc •The earlier British forms were flash it and flash one's meat: Judy thought she was gonna flash me. She started unbuttoning her blouse (1846+)
  7. To display suddenly and briefly: We flash our tin and ask him if he's lost a ball-peen hammer
  8. To climb a route on the first try (1990s+ Rock climbing)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with flashs


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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