• synonyms

hot flash

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  1. a sudden, temporary sensation of heat experienced by some women during menopause.

Origin of hot flash

First recorded in 1905–10
Also called hot flush.


  1. a blush; rosy glow: a flush of embarrassment on his face.
  2. a rushing or overspreading flow, as of water.
  3. a sudden rise of emotion or excitement: a flush of anger.
  4. glowing freshness or vigor: the flush of youth.
  5. hot flush. hot flash.
  6. a cleansing preparation that acts by flushing: an oil flush for the car's engine.
verb (used with object)
  1. to redden; cause to blush or glow: Winter air flushed the children's cheeks.
  2. to flood or spray thoroughly with water, as for cleansing purposes: They flushed the wall with water and then scrubbed it down.
  3. to wash out (a sewer, toilet, etc.) by a sudden rush of water.
  4. Metallurgy.
    1. to remove slag from (a blast furnace).
    2. to spray (a coke oven) to cool the gases generated and wash away the ammonia and tars distilled.
  5. to animate or excite; inflame: flushed with success.
verb (used without object)
  1. to blush; redden.
  2. to flow with a rush; flow and spread suddenly.
  3. to operate by flushing; undergo flushing: The toilet won't flush.

Origin of flush1

1540–50; perhaps extended senses of flush3; compare similar phonesthemic elements and meanings of blush, gush, flash
Related formsflush·a·ble, adjectiveflush·er, nounflush·ing·ly, adverbflush·ness, noun


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3. access, rush, flood, impulse, thrill.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for hot flush

hot flush

US hot flash

  1. a sudden unpleasant hot feeling in the skin, caused by endocrine imbalance, esp experienced by women at menopause


  1. to blush or cause to blush
  2. to flow or flood or cause to flow or flood with or as if with water
  3. to glow or shine or cause to glow or shine with a rosy colour
  4. to send a volume of water quickly through (a pipe, channel, etc) or into (a toilet) for the purpose of cleansing, emptying, etc
  5. to cause (soluble substances in the soil) to be washed towards the surface, as by the action of underground springs, or (of such substances) to be washed towards the soil surface
  6. (tr; usually passive) to excite or elate
  1. a rosy colour, esp in the cheeks; blush
  2. a sudden flow or gush, as of water
  3. a feeling of excitement or elationthe flush of success
  4. early bloom; freshnessthe flush of youth
  5. redness of the skin, esp of the face, as from the effects of a fever, alcohol, etc
  6. ecology an area of boggy land fed by ground water
  1. having a ruddy or heightened colour
Derived Formsflusher, noun

Word Origin

C16 (in the sense: to gush forth): perhaps from flush ³


adjective (usually postpositive)
  1. level or even with another surface
  2. directly adjacent; continuous
  3. informal having plenty of money
  4. informal abundant or plentiful, as money
  5. full of vigour
  6. full to the brim or to the point of overflowing
  7. printing having an even margin, right or left, with no indentations
  8. (of a blow) accurately delivered
  9. (of a vessel) having no superstructure built above the flat level of the deck
  1. so as to be level or even
  2. directly or squarely
verb (tr)
  1. to cause (surfaces) to be on the same level or in the same plane
  2. to enrich the diet of (an ewe) during the breeding season
  1. a period of fresh growth of leaves, shoots, etc
Derived Formsflushness, noun

Word Origin

C18: probably from flush 1 (in the sense: spring out)


  1. (tr) to rouse (game, wild creatures, etc) and put to flight

Word Origin

C13 flusshen, perhaps of imitative origin


  1. (in poker and similar games) a hand containing only one suit

Word Origin

C16: from Old French flus, from Latin fluxus flux
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

Word Origin and History for hot flush



"fly up suddenly," c.1300, perhaps imitative of the sound of beating wings, or related to flash via its variant flushe. Probably not connected to Old French flux, source of flush (n.).

Transitive meaning "to cause to fly, start" is first attested mid-15c. The sense of "spurt, rush out suddenly, flow with force" (1540s) is probably the same word, with the connecting notion being "sudden movement," but its senses seem more to fit the older ones of flash (now all transferred to this word except in flash flood). Meaning "cleanse a drain, etc., with a rush of water" is from 1789. The noun sense of "sudden redness in the face" (1620s) probably belongs here, too. The verb in this sense is from 1660s. "A very puzzling word" [Weekley]. Related: Flushed; flushing.



1550s, "perfect, faultless;" c.1600, "abundant; plentifully supplied (with money, etc.)," perhaps from flush (v.) through the notion of a river running full, hence level with its banks. Meaning "even, level" is from 1620s.



"hand of cards all of one suit," 1520s, perhaps from Middle French flus (15c.), from Old French flux "a flowing," with the sense of "a run" (of cards), from Latin fluxus "flux," from fluere "to flow" (see fluent). The form in English probably was influenced by flush (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

hot flush in Medicine


  1. To turn red, as from fever, heat, or strong emotion; blush.
  2. To clean, rinse, or empty with a rapid flow of a liquid, especially water.
  1. An act of cleansing or rinsing with a flow of water.
  2. A reddening of the skin, as with fever, emotion, or exertion.
  3. A brief sensation of heat over all or part of the body.
  1. Having surfaces in the same plane; even.

hot flash

  1. A sudden, brief sensation of heat, often over the entire body, caused by a transient dilation of the blood vessels of the skin and experienced by some menopausal women.hot flush
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.