flash·​light | \ ˈflash-ˌlīt How to pronounce flashlight (audio) \

Definition of flashlight

1 : a small battery-operated portable electric light
2a : a sudden bright artificial light used in taking photographic pictures
b : a photograph taken by such a light

Examples of flashlight in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

One person uses the flashlight on their phone to light the [program], while another takes the photo on our phone. Ashley Lee, Los Angeles Times, "How Playbills became social media must-shares," 15 Aug. 2019 The city eventually paid out $75,000 to Dejuan Hall, of Vacaville, after cell phone video showed Muniz-Bottomley punching and hitting the man with a flashlight in the middle of Fairgrounds Drive in North Vallejo. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, "Judge orders Vallejo to release cop’s employment records in excessive force lawsuit," 10 Aug. 2019 While the boyfriend was apprehended, the complaint says, an officer in the bedroom with Amir had ordered him to put his shoes on and was examining the child's shoe with a flashlight while keeping his automatic rifle aimed at him. Erik Ortiz, NBC News, "12-year-old boy sitting on bed shot in knee during police raid, lawsuit says," 9 Aug. 2019 Suspicious, Amber Trails: After police were called 5 a.m. July 20 for a man walking around a neighborhood pond with a flashlight, officers located the man. Joan Rusek, cleveland.com, "Man puts bike in stranger’s truck and steals truck: Bainbridge Township police blotter," 28 July 2019 When Foster got off his bike and ran away, the officers chased him, struck him on the head with a flashlight and fired a Taser at him, according to the lawsuit. Colleen Shalby, latimes.com, "Police fired more than 55 rounds at Willie McCoy in less than 4 seconds, report shows," 27 June 2019 One man moved around the couches with a flashlight, looking for items to steal. Sarah Schreiber, Good Housekeeping, "WATCH: Terrifying Video Captures Armed Burglars Creeping Around Sleeping Kids," 25 Oct. 2016 She was handed a helmet fitted with flashlights and sent though the ventilation shafts of Starcourt Mall to discover what a secret group of Russians was hiding. Washington Post, "‘Stranger Things’ breakout star is a spunky seventh grader," 29 July 2019 She was handed a helmet fitted with flashlights and sent though the ventilation shafts of Starcourt Mall to discover what a secret group of Russians was hiding. Mark Kennedy, Houston Chronicle, "‘Stranger Things’ breakout star is a spunky seventh-grader," 29 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flashlight.' 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 flashlight

1886, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

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Statistics for flashlight

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flashlight

The first known use of flashlight was in 1886

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More Definitions for flashlight



English Language Learners Definition of flashlight

US : a small electric light that can be carried in your hand and that runs on batteries


flash·​light | \ ˈflash-ˌlīt How to pronounce flashlight (audio) \

Kids Definition of flashlight

: a small portable electric light that runs on batteries

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More from Merriam-Webster on flashlight

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flashlight

Spanish Central: Translation of flashlight

Nglish: Translation of flashlight for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flashlight for Arabic Speakers

Comments on flashlight

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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