flash·​over | \ ˈflash-ˌō-vər How to pronounce flashover (audio) \

Definition of flashover

1 : an abnormal electrical discharge (as through the air to the ground from a high potential source or between two conducting portions of a structure)
2 : the sudden spread of flame over an area when it becomes heated to the flash point

Examples of flashover in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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 The experts determined the fire was caused by the effects of flashover and had one point of origin. Lauren Castle, azcentral, 23 Mar. 2020 Among them: Toledo, Ohio, firefighters Jamie Dickman, 31, and Stephen Machcinski, 42, killed in a flashover on Jan. 26, 2014. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, 13 July 2018 Even more dangerous than a rollover is a flashover. Sean Flynn, Esquire, 9 Mar. 2017 Unlike a rollover, however, a flashover happens everywhere at once; every molecule of atmosphere, every object in the vicinity, instantly turns to fire. Sean Flynn, Esquire, 9 Mar. 2017 To show the effects of a flashover, rollover and the better understanding of a blaze, the Olmsted Township Fire Department hosted a regional fire training simulator last week that also included Olmsted Falls and North Olmsted firefighters. Joanne Berger Dumound/special To Cleveland.com., cleveland.com, 5 June 2017 Olmsted Township helped its firefighters and those of two other departments learn more about fires, including rollovers and flashovers, that occur in a blaze. Joanne Berger Dumound/special To Cleveland.com., cleveland.com, 5 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flashover.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of flashover

1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About flashover

Time Traveler for flashover

Time Traveler

The first known use of flashover was in 1892

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near flashover



flashover voltage

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for flashover

Last Updated

5 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flashover.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flashover. Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!