a brief, sudden burst of bright light: a flash of lightning.
a sudden, brief outburst or display of joy, wit, etc.
a very brief moment; instant: I'll be back in a flash.
Informal. flashlight (def. 1).
superficial, meretricious, or vulgar showiness; ostentatious display.
Journalism. news flash.
bright artificial light thrown briefly upon a subject during an exposure.
the sudden flame or intense heat produced by a bomb or other explosive device.
a sudden thought, insight, inspiration, or vision.
Slang. rush1 (def. 24).
a ridge of metal left on a casting by a seam between parts of the mold.
a ridge formed at the edge of a forging or weld where excess metal has been squeezed out.
Poker. a hand containing all five suits in a game played with a five-suit pack.
a device, as a lock or sluice, for confining and releasing water to send a boat down a shallow stream.
the rush of water thus produced.
Obsolete. the cant or jargon of thieves, vagabonds, etc.
to break forth into sudden flame or light, especially transiently or intermittently: a buoy flashing in the distance.
to burst suddenly into view or perception: The answer flashed into his mind.
to move like a flash.
to speak or behave with sudden anger, outrage, or the like (often followed by out): to flash out at a stupid remark.
to break into sudden action.
Slang. to open one's clothes and expose the genitals suddenly, and usually briefly, in public.
Slang. to experience the intense effects of a narcotic or stimulant drug.
to dash or splash, as the sea or waves.
Archaic. to make a flash or sudden display.
to emit or send forth (fire or light) in sudden flashes.
to cause to flash, as powder by ignition or a sword by waving.
to send forth like a flash.
to communicate instantaneously, as by radio or telegraph.
to make an ostentatious display of: He's forever flashing a large roll of bills.
to display suddenly and briefly: She flashed her ID card at the guard.
to change (water) instantly into steam by pouring or directing onto a hot surface.
to increase the flow of water in (a river, channel, etc.).
Glassmaking and Ceramics.
to coat (plain glass or a glass or ceramic object) with a layer of colored, opalescent, or white glass.
to apply (such a layer).
to color or make (glass) opaque by reheating.
Building Trades. to protect from leakage with flashing.
Cards. to expose (a card) in the process of dealing.
Archaic. to dash or splash (water).
happening suddenly and usually lasting a short time:a flash storm.
very brief, fast, or short: flash freezing of vegetables;flash poetry and fiction.
showy or ostentatious.
caused by or used as protection against flash from an explosive device: flash injuries; flash clothing.
counterfeit or sham.
Computers. relating to or using flash memory: a flash drive.
of or relating to followers of boxing, racing, etc.
Obsolete. belonging to or connected with thieves, vagabonds, etc., or their cant or jargon.
Idioms about flash
flash in the pan,
a brief, intense effort that produces no really significant result.
a person who makes such an effort; one who enjoys short-lived success.
flash on, Slang.
to have a sudden thought, insight, or inspiration about.
to have a sudden, vivid memory or mental picture of: I just flashed on that day we spent at the lake.
to feel an instantaneous understanding and appreciation of.
- flash·ing·ly, adverb
- outflash, verb (used with object)
Other definitions for FLASH (2 of 2)
a precedence code for handling messages about initial enemy contact or operational combat messages of extreme urgency within the U.S. military.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use flash in a sentence
In one 2009 experiment, college students studied vocabulary words with flash cards.
The darkening outlook of banks is laid bare by disclosures on so-called criticized loans, which are flashing warning signals about a borrower’s ability to pay.
Plus its flash technology allows upgrades to future software versions so you won’t have to continually invest in new calculators.
Disrupt 2020 Labor Day flash sale — Starting today, you can save $100 off the price of a Disrupt Digital Pro Pass.
When I briefly regained consciousness, it was to flashing police and ambulance lights and what felt like an entire roll of paper towels pressed on my face.
The idea that January 1st initiates a period of new beginning is not a flash of Hallmark brilliance.
Afterward, you can actually see her young career flash before her eyes as she makes a kind of puffed up blowfish face.The Curious Little Shell That Restarted Jenny Slate’s Career | Luke Hopping | December 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
In a flash he deflects the shot, with the speed of instinct, right past the goalkeeper.
Cops launched a flash grenade through the window and officer Joseph Weekley fired, fatally striking Stanley-Jones.Worse Than Eric Garner: Cops Who Got Away With Killing Autistic Men and Little Girls | Emily Shire | December 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The grasp on the sabre would tighten; the quiet eyes would flash.
The vision—it had been an instantaneous flash after all and nothing more—had left his mind completely for the time.The Wave | Algernon Blackwood
A flash of surprise and pleasure lit the fine eyes of the haughty beauty perched up there on the palace wall.The Red Year | Louis Tracy
"A camp-fire would hardly flash and die out like that, Sarge," he answered thoughtfully.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
If those jaspers flash any part of the roll in the Territory before snowfall, I'll get them.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
He devoured it whole with a kind of visual gulp—a flash; the entire meaning first, then lines, then separate words.The Wave | Algernon Blackwood
British Dictionary definitions for flash
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
Also called: patch mainly British 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
a sudden rush of water down a river or watercourse
a device, such as a sluice, for producing such a rush
a ridge of thin metal or plastic formed on a moulded object by the extrusion of excess material between dies
Yorkshire and 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
(intr) to move very fast: he flashed by on his bicycle
(intr) to come rapidly (into the mind or vision)
(intr; foll by out or up) to appear like a sudden light: his anger really flashes out at times
to signal or communicate very fast: to flash a message
to signal by use of a light, such as car headlights
(tr) informal to display ostentatiously: to flash money around
(tr) informal to show suddenly and briefly
(intr) British slang to expose oneself indecently
(tr) 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
(tr) to subject to a brief pulse of heat or radiation
(tr) to change (a liquid) to a gas by causing it to hit a hot surface
obsolete to splash or dash (water)
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with flash
In addition to the idiom beginning with flash
- flash in the pan
- in a flash
- quick as a wink (flash)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.