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

Examples of flashback in a Sentence


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

Your reaction to trauma depends on you While PTSD often manifests as a reliving of a traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, some people are affected more than others. Lambeth Hochwald, Health.com, "What Causes PTSD? Here's What Happens to the Brain After Trauma," 20 June 2019 View Sample Sign Up Now The belief that Jaime would kill Cersei largely stemmed from the flashback scene in season 5 when a young Cersei had her future told by a witch named Maggy the Frog. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "Lena Headey Has Some Thoughts on Cersei's Ending in Game of Thrones," 17 June 2019 Mezzo Eliza Bonet brought a fierce energy to the conflicted Nelda, and bass Timothy J. Bruno was persuasive as Daddy, whose overbearing sense of entitlement suffused the two dramatic flashback scenes. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘Taking Up Serpents’ and ‘Dear Erich’ Reviews: Operas Haunted by the Past," 15 Jan. 2019 One moment in particular that slipped under the radar Tuesday occurred during one of the flashback scenes set in Vietnam. Eileen Reslen, Country Living, "'This Is Us' Fans Missed This Insane Clue About Jack's Necklace," 17 Oct. 2018 The use of a fatsuit in flashback scenes was also widely contested. Devon Elizabeth, Glamour, "Twitter Is Divided About Netflix's Insatiable Getting Renewed for a Second Season," 13 Sep. 2018 And the flashback scenes to the mid-20th century have the oddly ingenuous quality of great-man biographies for young readers. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: A Species on the Brink in ‘Secret Life of Humans’," 7 June 2018 In addition to the returning original cast, Mamma Mia 2 stars Lily James as a young Donna in flashback scenes telling the story of her summer romances with Bill, Sam, and Harry. Leanna Commins, Cosmopolitan, "Meet the Hotties Playing Young Bill, Sam, and Harry in Mamma Mia 2," 29 Jan. 2018 An opening flashback explains what happened to Woody’s lost love Bo Peep (Annie Potts). Christian Holub, EW.com, "All hail Forky: Critics rave about the trash-toy at the center of Toy Story 4," 13 June 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near flashback



flash back



flash boiler

flash bomb

Statistics for flashback

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flashback

The first known use of flashback was in 1903

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on flashback

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flashback

Spanish Central: Translation of flashback

Nglish: Translation of flashback for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flashback for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flashback

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