[ flash-er ]
/ ˈflæʃ ər /


a person or thing that flashes.
a flashing light operated by a switching device that automatically turns it on and off alternately.
a signal light on an automotive vehicle that can be made to flash, as to indicate the intention of making a turn or to call attention to a vehicle that has slowed or stopped in a hazardous place.Compare turn signal.
the switching device that operates such a light.
Slang. a person, especially a man, who exposes the genitals suddenly, and usually briefly, in public.

Nearby words

  1. flashbulb,
  2. flashbulb memory,
  3. flashcard,
  4. flashcube,
  5. flashed glass,
  6. flashgun,
  7. flashing,
  8. flashing point,
  9. flashingly,
  10. flashlight

Origin of flasher

First recorded in 1605–15; flash + -er1

Origin of flash

1350–1400; Middle English flasshen to sprinkle, splash, earlier flask(i)en; probably phonesthemic in orig.; compare similar expressive words with fl- and -sh

1. flare, gleam, glare. 3. twinkling, wink. 18. scintillate. Flash, glance, glint, glitter mean to send forth a sudden gleam (or gleams) of bright light. To flash is to send forth light with a sudden, transient brilliancy: A shooting star flashed briefly. To glance is to emit a brilliant flash of light as a reflection from a smooth surface: Sunlight glanced from the glass windshield. Glint suggests a hard bright gleam of reflected light, as from something polished or burnished: Light glints from silver or from burnished copper. To glitter is to reflect intermittent flashes of light from a hard surface: Ice glitters in the moonlight. 40. flashy, gaudy, tawdry; pretentious, superficial. 42. false, fake.

Related formsflash·ing·ly, adverbout·flash, verb (used with object)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flasher

British Dictionary definitions for flasher


/ (ˈflæʃə) /


something that flashes, such as a direction indicator on a vehicle
British slang a person who indecently exposes himself


/ (flæʃ) /




Word Origin for flash

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

Word Origin and History for flasher
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with flasher


In addition to the idiom beginning with flash

  • flash in the pan

also see:

  • 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.