flash·​over ˈflash-ˌō-vər How to pronounce flashover (audio)
: an abnormal electrical discharge (as through the air to the ground from a high potential source or between two conducting portions of a structure)
: the sudden spread of flame over an area when it becomes heated to the flash point

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Clearly flashover had occurred. Douglas Starr, Discover Magazine, 23 Oct. 2011 In those strikes, victims can experience burns on their skin as a portion of the current moves over the skin's surface (called flashover), but the greatest concern is the portion of the current that moves through the body's cardiovascular and nervous systems. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, 20 Jan. 2022 Wood fires, especially those that reach flashover, frequently exceed the melting point of metals.. Douglas Starr, Discover Magazine, 23 Oct. 2011 Witnesses had reported flames exploding out the windows—the main indicator of a flashover fire. Douglas Starr, Discover Magazine, 23 Oct. 2011 That phenomenon, called flashover, occurs when a fire seems to burst out a room’s windows and doors. Douglas Starr, Discover Magazine, 23 Oct. 2011 The free event features safety information, activities and demonstrations, including a water rescue in Lake Osborne, a flashover fire and K9 unit exercises. Chicago Tribune, 9 Sep. 2022 The reason is a phenomenon called flashover, in which electric current flows over the surface of the body and largely bypasses the internal organs. The New Yorker, 29 Nov. 2021 When crews were able to get into the home, the immediate rush of oxygen to the fire caused a flashover, NOFD said, and intense fire at extremely high temperatures surged toward the firefighters entering the building. Carlie Wells, NOLA.com, 13 Nov. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flashover.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of flashover was in 1892

Dictionary Entries Near flashover

Cite this Entry

“Flashover.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flashover. Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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