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 to flashed back to my childhood
2 : to employ a flashback (as in a film) usually used with to

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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 There’s an exquisite flashback to such a concert, held on a riverbank at 5 A.M., that suffuses the screen with the event’s momentous spirituality. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“The Disciple”: An Indian Classical Musician’s Conflicted Coming of Age," 30 Apr. 2021 Luda appears in a flashback in the beginning of episode 7 of the show's first season. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Who is Luda from "Shadow and Bone"?," 29 Apr. 2021 Giuliani's efforts did not secure a second term for Trump, but the wider operation to discredit an election that Trump lost drags on, as a second flashback on Wednesday made clear. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Joe Biden warns democracy is still threatened and Trump's looming shadow proves it," 29 Apr. 2021 Airheaded Alex is thrilled that her vertical leap has improved, while Penny, in a flashback, considers climbing off Jane’s balcony. Sophy Ziss, Vulture, "‘Cocktails & Dreams’ Is Happy Endings at Its Most Potent," 13 Apr. 2021 Russian doll levels of flashback going on in this episode. Erik Kain, Forbes, "‘The Walking Dead’ Season 10, Episode 22 Recap And Review: ‘Here’s Negan’," 5 Apr. 2021 That leads us into a flashback featuring a long-haired Adele, again decked out in pale tones, walking through the countryside. Rose Maura Lorre, Vulture, "Behind Her Eyes Premiere Recap: Bizarre Love Triangle," 17 Feb. 2021 In a flashback, after Jack and Miguel finally free the ring and finish proposal preparations, Jack asks Miguel to stand at the altar with him. Amanda Ostuni, EW.com, "This Is Us recap: Miguel and the Pearsons confront complicated feeling," 7 Apr. 2021 The platonic ideal of a Lucille-ism comes in a flashback. Jackson Mchenry, Vulture, "It’s an Appreciation of Jessica Walter as Lucille Bluth, What Could It Contain, 13 Best Moments?," 25 Mar. 2021

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

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flashback.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flashback. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for flashback



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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