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verb \ˈflash\

Simple Definition of flash

  • : to shine or give off bright light suddenly or in repeated bursts

  • : to appear quickly or suddenly

  • : to move or pass very quickly

Full Definition of flash

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  rush, dash —used of flowing water

  3. 2 :  to break forth in or like a sudden flame or flare

  4. 3 a :  to appear suddenly <an idea flashes into her mind> b :  to move with great speed <the days flash by>

  5. 4 a :  to break forth or out so as to make a sudden display b :  to act or speak vehemently and suddenly especially in anger

  6. 5 a :  to give off light suddenly or in transient bursts b :  to glow or gleam especially with animation or passion <her eyes flashed with anger>

  7. 6 :  to change suddenly or violently into vapor

  8. 7 :  to expose one's breasts or genitals usually suddenly and briefly in public

  9. 8 :  to have sudden insight —often used with on

  10. transitive verb
  11. 1 a archaic :  splash b :  to fill by a sudden inflow of water

  12. 2 a :  to cause the sudden appearance of (light) b :  to cause to burst violently into flame c (1) :  to cause (light) to reflect (2) :  to cause (as a mirror) to reflect light (3) :  to cause (a lamp) to flash d :  to convey by means of flashes of light

  13. 3 a :  to make known or cause to appear with great speed <flash a message on the screen> b :  to display obtrusively and ostentatiously <always flashing a roll of bills> c :  to expose to view usually suddenly and briefly <flashed a badge>

  14. 4 :  to cover with or form into a thin layer: as a :  to protect against rain by covering with sheet metal or a substitute b :  to coat (as glass) with a thin layer (as of metal or a differently colored glass)

  15. 5 :  to subject (an exposed photographic negative or positive) to a supplementary uniform exposure to light before development in order to modify detail or tone

  16. 6 :  to expose one's breasts or genitals usually suddenly and briefly to <flashed the audience>

Examples of flash

  1. Thunder rumbled and lightning flashed.

  2. Cameras flashed as the celebrities passed.

  3. A car was sitting on the side of the road with its lights flashing.

  4. A message flashed on the screen.

  5. The screen flashed a message in black letters.

  6. Her eyes flashed with anger.

Origin of flash

Middle English flaschen, of imitative origin

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of flash

flash, gleam, glint, sparkle, glitter, glisten, glimmer, shimmer mean to send forth light. flash implies a sudden outburst of bright light <lightning flashed>. gleam suggests a steady light seen through an obscuring medium or against a dark background <lights gleamed in the valley>. glint implies a cold glancing light <glinting steel>. sparkle suggests innumerable moving points of bright light <the sparkling waters>. glitter connotes a brilliant sparkling or gleaming <glittering diamonds>. glisten applies to the soft sparkle from a wet or oily surface <glistening wet sidewalk>. glimmer suggests a faint or wavering gleam <a distant glimmering light>. shimmer means shining with a wavering light <a shimmering satin dress>.




Simple Definition of flash

  • : a sudden bright light

  • : a sudden appearance or occurrence of something

  • : a fancy or exciting quality or appearance that is meant to attract attention to something that is usually not very good or interesting

Full Definition of flash

  1. 1 a :  a sudden burst of light b :  a movement of a flag in signaling

  2. 2 :  a sudden and often brilliant burst <a flash of wit>

  3. 3 :  a brief time

  4. 4 a :  show, display; especially :  a vulgar ostentatious display b archaic :  a showy ostentatious person c :  one that attracts notice; especially :  an outstanding athlete d :  pizzazz

  5. 5 obsolete :  thieves' slang

  6. 6 :  something flashed: as a :  glimpse, look b :  smile c :  a first brief news report d :  flashlight 2 e :  a quick-spreading flame or momentary intense outburst of radiant heat f (1) :  flashlight 1 (2) :  a device for producing a flashlight for taking photographs

  7. 7 :  rush 7a

  8. 8 :  the rapid conversion of a liquid into vapor

Examples of flash

  1. A brilliant flash lit up the sky.

  2. The idea for the movie came to her in a flash of inspiration.

  3. They relied on gimmicks and flash to get people's attention.

  4. a show with a lot of flash but little substance


First Known Use of flash





Simple Definition of flash

  • : beginning suddenly and lasting only a short time

  • : very talented

Full Definition of flash

  1. 1 a :  flashy, showy b :  of, relating to, or characteristic of flashy people or things <flash behavior> c :  of, relating to, or characteristic of persons considered social outcasts <flash language>

  2. 2 :  of sudden origin and short duration <a flash fire>

  3. 3 :  having or using a solid-state data storage technology that retains data even without a connection to a power source <flash memory>

Examples of flash

  1. <flash floods in the local area>

Circa 1700

First Known Use of flash

circa 1700

Other Computer-Related Terms




Definition of flash

  1. :  by very brief exposure to an intense altering agent (as heat or cold) <flash fry> <flash freeze>


First Known Use of flash


Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈflash\

Medical Definition of flash

  1. :  rush 2—compare hot flash

Seen and Heard

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February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

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