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 Others experience severe anxiety or have flashbacks to the event. AZCentral.com, "Police shootings in Arizona," 10 Sep. 2019 The first is a flashback of Richie hanging out at an arcade the same summer the Losers defeated Pennywise the first time. Joelle Monique, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'It: Chapter Two' Leaves Richie Tozier Behind," 7 Sep. 2019 Is Starkiller base really back to being fully operational, or is this a flashback to explain why Rey’s parents were MIA? Nick Romano, EW.com, "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," 26 Aug. 2019 The Society might have brought the kids of West Ham into a completely different place with no adults or anyone else near them, but fans of the new Netflix series are having flashbacks about this favorite children's fairy tale. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Who is The Pied Piper and How Does He Connect to "The Society"?," 21 May 2019 But Angela also notes the flashbacks will extend beyond just that. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "The Walking Dead showrunner says more flashbacks are coming," 17 Sep. 2019 The production toggles between these exchanges (featuring additional dialogue by Kata Wéber) and the play’s earlier scenes, presented as flashbacks. New York Times, "20th-Century Rogues’ Gallery Gets a Modern Twist," 12 Sep. 2019 Taking each storyline at a time, all accompanied by flashbacks, gives each character some depth, even as the crowded film – at nearly three-hours long – verges on turning into a clown car. Jake Coyle, Detroit Free Press, "‘It Chapter Two’ is a big-screen funhouse," 5 Sep. 2019 That dichotomy was fleshed out more in her flashbacks. Nojan Aminosharei, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ann Dowd Digs Deep to Understand Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid's Tale," 14 Aug. 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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Statistics for flashback

Last Updated

30 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for flashback

The first known use of flashback was in 1903

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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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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).


to spread as a report or rumor

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