• synonyms


See more synonyms for flashlight on Thesaurus.com
  1. Also called, especially British, torch. a small, portable electric lamp powered by dry batteries, LEDs, or a tiny generator.
  2. a light that flashes, as a lighthouse beacon.
  3. any source of artificial light as used in flash photography.
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Origin of flashlight

First recorded in 1885–90; flash + light1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for flashlight

light, flashlight, beacon, torch, limelight, publicity, notoriety, fame, searchlight, gaslight, interest, floodlight

Examples from the Web for flashlight

Contemporary Examples of flashlight

Historical Examples of flashlight

  • A flashlight gleamed for an instant and Dr. Bird started in surprise.

    Poisoned Air

    Sterner St. Paul Meek

  • He turned the flashlight for an instant on his own face, and Dr. Bird gazed at him keenly.

    Poisoned Air

    Sterner St. Paul Meek

  • The feeble ray of the flashlight was lost in the blackness below.

  • It was her first experience with a flashlight, and she marvelled at its power.


    Eliot H. Robinson

  • That flashlight business is going to pan out just great, I can see.

British Dictionary definitions for flashlight


  1. mainly US and Canadian a small portable electric lamp powered by one or more dry batteriesAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): torch
  2. photog the brief bright light emitted by an electronic flash unitSometimes shortened to: flash
  3. mainly US and Canadian a light that flashes, used for signalling, in a lighthouse, etc
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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 flashlight


American English for what the British might call an electric torch; 1919, from flash + light (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper