flash·​back | \ ˈflash-ˌbak How to pronounce flashback (audio) \

Definition of flashback

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a recession of flame to an unwanted position (as into a blowpipe)
2a : interruption of chronological sequence (as in a film or literary work) by interjection of events of earlier occurrence also : an instance of flashback
b : a past incident recurring vividly in the mind

flash back

flashed back; flashing back; flashes back

Definition of flash back (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to focus one's mind on or vividly remember a past time or incident usually used with toflashed back to my childhood
2 : to employ a flashback (as in a film) usually used with to

Examples of flashback in a Sentence

Noun The character's childhood was described in a series of flashbacks. He's having flashbacks of his days in the war.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The finale goes back to the rebooted drama's beginning, opening with a mix of flashbacks and new footage detailing the mission that resulted in the murder of McGarrett's father, John, in the series premiere. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "'Hawaii Five-0' finale recap: 'Aloha' to McGarrett and Danno, with nods to the past," 4 Apr. 2020 Seeing Becton, a 364-pound offensive tackle, move with such speed gave him flashbacks of Becton playing basketball at Highland Springs High School in Highland Springs, Virginia. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "Mekhi Becton went from a top-60 prospect to a top-10 lock in mock drafts. What changed?," 20 Mar. 2020 Love called Beilein a throwback, said Beilein reminded him of John Wooden and spoke openly about how Cleveland was starting to give him flashbacks to college. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "How John Beilein’s coaching tenure with Cleveland Cavaliers crumbled so quickly: Chris Fedor," 19 Feb. 2020 Their most recent concert flashback was from 2009 in Copenhagen that was streamed on April 6. Travel + Leisure, "Rock Out With Metallica Every Monday During Quarantine — and Try Some of Their Whiskey While You're At It," 13 Apr. 2020 Trauma reminders can lead to recurrence of intrusive memories, flashbacks and resurgence of nightmares. Arash Javanbakht, The Conversation, "Veterans, refugees and victims of war crimes are all vulnerable to PTSD," 21 Jan. 2020 Episode 7 of The Mandalorian featured a flashback showing how Kuiil reprogrammed IG-11 to be a nurse rather than a murderer, and the sequence made the process sound an awful lot like raising a child. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Mandalorian Knows Why Heroes Wear Masks," 30 Dec. 2019 Ryan Saunders had a brief flashback earlier this month during Minnesota’s home loss to Memphis. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "The man behind Keita Bates-Diop’s success: former Timberwolves teammate Luol Deng," 14 Dec. 2019 In the meantime, along with flashbacks that slowly reveal the pain that led her to abandon her old life, Unorthodox follows Esty’s husband Yanky (Amit Rahav) in the immediate aftermath of her disappearance. Judy Berman, Time, "Netflix's Unorthodox Tells the Riveting Tale of One Woman's Flight From Hasidic Brooklyn," 24 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flashback.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of flashback


1903, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1944, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for flashback

Time Traveler

The first known use of flashback was in 1903

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Statistics for flashback

Last Updated

14 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flashback.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flashback. Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for flashback


How to pronounce flash back (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of flashback

: a part of a story or movie that describes or shows something that happened in the past
: a strong memory of a past event that comes suddenly into a person's mind

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