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

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 scene at the school then cuts to a flashback of Imogen, sitting in the sand at a beach with a bottle of alcohol beside her. Seventeen, 4 Aug. 2022 One massacre of either 16 or 17 people later — the exact number is disputed, and thus requires an elaborate flashback counting off murders to settle the argument — Lemon and Tangerine leave with both the manchild and the money. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 2 Aug. 2022 The flashback features a moment where the connection between the Gordy's Home! Evan Romano, Men's Health, 25 July 2022 The incumbent flashback introduces a pivotal character in his coach but also hits a few clunky sentimental notes that float on an often-cloying soundtrack. Lisa Kennedy, Variety, 14 July 2022 The first flashback takes us to 1953, where shots of the marshland, colored by a warm, vivid palette, are interrupted by the gray, subdued reality of Kya’s upbringing. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 July 2022 The combat flashback scenes were shot in Sylmar, California. Susan Dunne, Hartford Courant, 6 July 2022 The Copper Metallic paint job combines with the oodles of chrome trim and white wall tires to create a beautiful flashback to a bygone era of automative design. Caleb Miller, Car and Driver, 6 July 2022 Dark cleverly uses Agnes’ intimate notebooks written at the time to pull off this long flashback. Heller Mcalpin, The Christian Science Monitor, 4 July 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of flashback was in 1903

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Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Flashback.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flashback. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on 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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