English Dictionary

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flash (flæʃ



  1. a sudden short blaze of intense light or flame   ⇒  ■ a flash of sunlight
  2. a sudden occurrence or display, esp one suggestive of brilliance   ⇒  ■ a flash of understanding
  3. a very brief space of time   ⇒  ■ over in a flash
  4. an ostentatious display   ⇒  ■ a flash of her diamonds
  5. Also called: : newsflash a short news announcement concerning a new event
  6. Also called: : patch (mainly British) an insignia or emblem worn on a uniform, vehicle, etc, to identify its military formation
  7. a patch of bright colour on a dark background, such as light marking on an animal
  8. a volatile mixture of inorganic salts used to produce a glaze on bricks or tiles
    1. a sudden rush of water down a river or watercourse
    2. a device, such as a sluice, for producing such a rush
  9. (photography, informal) short for flashlight (sense 2, flash photography
  10. a ridge of thin metal or plastic formed on a moulded object by the extrusion of excess material between dies
  11. (Yorkshire & and Lancashire, dialect) a pond, esp one produced as a consequence of subsidence
  12. (modifier) involving, using, or produced by a flash of heat, light, etc   ⇒  ■ flash blindness,   ⇒  ■ flash distillation
  13. See flash in the pan



  1. (informal) ostentatious or vulgar
  2. (informal) of or relating to gamblers and followers of boxing and racing
  3. sham or counterfeit
  4. (informal) relating to or characteristic of the criminal underworld
  5. brief and rapid   ⇒  ■ flash freezing



  1. to burst or cause to burst suddenly or intermittently into flame
  2. to emit or reflect or cause to emit or reflect light suddenly or intermittently
  3. (intransitive) to move very fast   ⇒  ■ he flashed by on his bicycle
  4. (intransitive) to come rapidly (into the mind or vision)
  5. (intransitive; followed by out or up) to appear like a sudden light   ⇒  ■ his anger really flashes out at times
    1. to signal or communicate very fast   ⇒  ■ to flash a message
    2. to signal by use of a light, such as car headlights
  6. (transitive) (informal) to display ostentatiously   ⇒  ■ to flash money around
  7. (transitive) (informal) to show suddenly and briefly
  8. (intransitive) (British, slang) to expose oneself indecently
  9. (transitive) to cover (a roof) with flashing
  10. to send a sudden rush of water down (a river, etc), or to carry (a vessel) down by this method
  11. (in the making of glass) to coat (glass) with a thin layer of glass of a different colour
  12. (transitive) to subject to a brief pulse of heat or radiation
  13. (transitive) to change (a liquid) to a gas by causing it to hit a hot surface
  14. (obsolete) to splash or dash (water)

Word Origin

C14 (in the sense: to rush, as of water): of unknown origin


View thesaurus entry
= blaze, ray, burst, spark, beam, sparkle, streak, flare, dazzle, shaft, glare, gleam, flicker, shimmer, twinkle, scintillation, coruscation
= speed, race, shoot, fly, tear, sweep, dash, barrel (along) (informal) (mainly US) ( & Canadian), whistle, sprint, bolt, streak, dart, zoom, burn rubber (informal)
= ostentatious, smart, glamorous, trendy, showy, cheap, bling (slang)

Translations for 'flash'

  • British English: flash A flash of light is a sudden, short burst of it....a sudden flash of lightning.flæʃ NOUN
  • Arabic: وَمِيض
  • Brazilian Portuguese: clarão
  • Chinese: 闪光
  • Croatian: bljesak
  • Czech: záblesk
  • Danish: glimt
  • Dutch: flits
  • European Spanish: destello
  • Finnish: välähdys
  • French: éclairlumière
  • German: Aufblitzen
  • Greek: αναλαμπή
  • Italian: lampo
  • Japanese: 閃光
  • Korean: 섬광
  • Norwegian: lynglimt
  • Polish: błysk
  • Portuguese: clarão
  • Romanian: scânteiere scânteieri
  • Russian: вспышка
  • Spanish: destello
  • Swedish: blixt
  • Thai: แสงวาบ
  • Turkish: flaş
  • Ukrainian: спалах
  • Vietnamese: ánh chớp
  • British English: flash If a light flashes, or if you flash a light, it shines brightly and suddenly.Lightning flashed among the dark clouds.He lost his temper when a driver flashed her lights at him.flæʃ VERB
  • Arabic: يـَومِضُ
  • Brazilian Portuguese: brilhar
  • Chinese: 闪光
  • Croatian: bljesnuti
  • Czech: vzplanout
  • Danish: blinke
  • Dutch: flitsen
  • European Spanish: destellar
  • Finnish: leimahtaa
  • French: clignoter
  • German: aufleuchten
  • Greek: αστράφτω
  • Italian: lampeggiare
  • Japanese: パッと発火する
  • Korean: 번쩍이다
  • Norwegian: lyne
  • Polish: błysnąć błyskać
  • Portuguese: brilhar
  • Romanian: a străluci
  • Russian: вспыхивать
  • Spanish: destellar
  • Swedish: lysa till
  • Thai: ส่องแสงวาบขึ้นมา
  • Turkish: parlamak
  • Ukrainian: спалахувати
  • Vietnamese: nháy sáng

Example Sentences Including 'flash'

A flash of old resentment flooded to the surface to replace his sense of discomfort.
Stuart Harrison LOST SUMMER (2002)
The momentary flash of apprehension in her eyes had betrayed her.
Mark Mills AMAGANSETT (2004)
One member of the party, who shall remain nameless, experienced a quick flash of sexiness momentarily overtaking their fear.


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