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

Instead, the movie focuses solely on the aftermath, only showing Audrey and Theo together at the end of the movie during a flashback at the museum. Washington Post, "‘The Goldfinch’ movie left a lot of the book out — but not what you’d expect," 13 Sep. 2019 The Reddit user speculated that season 4 will begin with a flashback to Christmas. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "This "Stranger Things" Fan Thinks He's Figured Out When the Next Season Will Be Released," 9 Sep. 2019 The finale begins with a flashback to June in the moments after she was first taken. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Handmaid's Tale Showrunner Breaks Down "Ruthless'" Season 3 Finale," 14 Aug. 2019 The caption gives us a flashback of some of their best memories. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Fantasia Brings Back Sweet Memories For Her Daughter Zion's 18th Birthday," 9 Aug. 2019 Wednesday’s practice provided a flashback as tight ends ran free against the first, second and third teams. Scott Patsko, cleveland.com, "Browns training camp defensive report: Sheldrick Redwine has his moment," 31 July 2019 Tarantino regular Kurt Russell has a dandy flashback as a gruff TV stunt director overseeing a roster of journeymen character actors much like his own dad, Bing Russell, who appeared in hundreds of cop shows and westerns back in the day. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "Tarantino is at the top of his form with ‘Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood’," 24 July 2019 The film begins with a flashback in which golfer Carl Collins (Boo Arnold) sinks a long putt to win the Texas Open. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Putting and prayers: 'Round of Your Life' is a faith-based golf movie," 19 June 2019 Thunder and cold rain triggered a flashback as Mr. Vander... Andrew Tangel, WSJ, "Hamburger Hill Veterans Find Peace on Battlefield," 25 May 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

Statistics for flashback

Last Updated

18 Sep 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

Comments on flashback

What made you want to look up flashback? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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