[ flash-lahyt ]
/ ˈflæʃˌlaɪt /


Also called, especially British, torch. a small, portable electric lamp powered by dry batteries, LEDs, or a tiny generator.
a light that flashes, as a lighthouse beacon.
any source of artificial light as used in flash photography.

Nearby words

  1. flasher,
  2. flashgun,
  3. flashing,
  4. flashing point,
  5. flashingly,
  6. flashlight fish,
  7. flashover,
  8. flashpacker,
  9. flashpoint,
  10. flashtube

Origin of flashlight

First recorded in 1885–90; flash + light1

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

Examples from the Web for flashlight

British Dictionary definitions for flashlight


/ (ˈflæʃˌlaɪt) /


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper