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flashback

[flash-bak]
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noun
  1. a device in the narrative of a motion picture, novel, etc., by which an event or scene taking place before the present time in the narrative is inserted into the chronological structure of the work.
  2. an event or scene so inserted.
  3. Also called flashback hallucinosis. Psychiatry.
    1. the spontaneous recurrence of visual hallucinations or other effects of a drug, as LSD, long after the use of the drug has been discontinued.
    2. recurrent and abnormally vivid recollection of a traumatic experience, as a battle, sometimes accompanied by hallucinations.
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Origin of flashback

1910–15; 1965–70 for def 3; noun use of verb phrase flash back
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for flashback

hallucination, recollection, memory, recall, reminiscence, nostalgia, reliving

Examples from the Web for flashback

Contemporary Examples of flashback

Historical Examples of flashback


British Dictionary definitions for flashback

flashback

noun
  1. a transition in a novel, film, etc, to an earlier scene or event
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verb flash back
  1. (intr, adverb) to return in a novel, film, etc, to a past event
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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 flashback

n.

1903, in reference to fires in engines or furnaces, from flash + back (adj.). Movie plot device sense is from 1916. The hallucinogenic drug sense is attested in psychological literature from 1970, which means probably hippies were using it a few years before.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

flashback in Medicine

flashback

(flăshbăk′)
n.
  1. An unexpected recurrence of the effects of a hallucinogenic drug long after its original use.
  2. A recurring, intensely vivid mental image of a past traumatic experience.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.