Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of flash
Meaning of flash by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From the Middle English word flashen ( to splash ), a variant of flasken, which was likely of imitative origin .



    flash ( third-person singular simple present flashes present participle flashing, simple past and past participle flashed )

    1. To briefly illuminate a scene .
      He flashed the light at the water, trying to see what made the noise .
    2. To blink; to shine or illuminate intermittently .
      The light flashed on and off .
    3. To be visible briefly .
      The scenery flashed by quickly .
    4. To make visible briefly .
      A number will be flashed on the screen .
    5. To flaunt; to display in a showy manner .
      He flashed a wad of hundred-dollar bills .
    6. To communicate quickly .
      The news services flashed the news about the end of the war to all corners of the globe .
    7. ( computing ) To write to the memory of an updatable component such as a BIOS chip or games cartridge .
    8. ( ambitransitive, informal ) To expose one's naked body or underwear, or part of it, in public briefly .
    9. ( metallurgy ) To release the pressure from a pressurized vessel .
    10. ( juggling ) to perform a flash .
    11. To move, or cause to move, suddenly


    Related terms

    See also


    flash ( plural: flashes )

    1. A sudden, short, temporary burst of light .
    2. ( linguistics ) A language, created by a repressed minority to maintain cultural identity, that cannot be understood by the ruling class; for example, Ebonics .
    3. A very short amount of time.
    4. Material left around the edge of a moulded part at the parting line of the mould .
    5. ( Cockney ) The strips of bright cloth or buttons worn around the collars of market traders .
    6. ( juggling ) A pattern where each prop is thrown and caught only once .




    See also

    • sparkle, shimmer, glimmer, twinkle


    flash ( comparative more flash, superlative most flash )

    1. ( UK and New Zealand, slang ) Expensive looking and attention worthy; stylish .
    2. ( UK, of a person ) Having plenty of ready money
    3. ( US, slang ) Occurring very rapidly, almost instantaneously .

    See also


Explanation of flash by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. appear briefly

    2. The headlines flashed on the screen
    3. emit a brief burst of light

    4. A shooting star flashed and was gone
    5. make known or cause to appear with great speed

    6. The latest intelligence is flashed to all command posts
    7. protect by covering with a thin sheet of metal

    8. flash the roof
    9. run or move very quickly or hastily

    10. expose or show briefly

    11. he flashed a $100 bill
    12. display proudly

    13. gleam or glow intermittently

    14. The lights were flashing
    1. tastelessly showy

    2. a flash car
      a flashy ring
    1. a lamp for providing momentary light to take a photograph

    2. a bright patch of color used for decoration or identification

    3. red flashes adorned the airplane
      a flash sewn on his sleeve indicated the unit he belonged to
    4. a momentary brightness

    5. a sudden brilliant understanding

    6. he had a flash of intuition
    7. a short news announcement concerning some on-going news story

    8. a burst of light used to communicate or illuminate

    9. a gaudy outward display

    10. a short vivid experience

    11. a flash of emotion swept over him
      the flashings of pain were a warning
    12. a sudden intense burst of radiant energy

    13. a very short time ( as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat )

    14. if I had the chance I'd do it in a flash

    Definition of flash by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Flash ( flăsh ), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Flashed ( flăsht ); p. pr. & vb. n. Flashing.] [Cf. OE. flaskien, vlaskien to pour, sprinkle, dial. Sw. flasa to blaze, E. flush, flare.]
      1. To burst or break forth with a sudden and transient flood of flame and light; as, “the lighting flashes vividly; the powder flashed.”

      2. To break forth, as a sudden flood of light; to burst instantly and brightly on the sight; to show a momentary brilliancy; to come or pass like a flash.

      Names which have flashed and thundered as the watch words of unnumbered struggles. Talfourd.

      The object is made to flash upon the eye of the mind. M. Arnold.

      A thought flashed through me, which I clothed in act. Tennyson.

      3. To burst forth like a sudden flame; to break out violently; to rush hastily.

      Every hour

      He flashes into one gross crime or other. Shak.

      flash in the pan, a failure or a poor performance, especially after a normal or auspicious start; also, a person whose initial performance appears augur success but who fails to achieve anything notable. From 4th pan, n., sense 3 -- part of a flintlock. Occasionally, the powder in the pan of a flintlock would flash without conveying the fire to the charge, and the ball would fail to be discharged. Thus, a good or even spectacular beginning that eventually achieves little came to be called a flash in the pan. -- To flash in the pan, to fail of success, especially after a normal or auspicious start. [Colloq.] See under Flash, a burst of light. Bartlett.

      Syn. -- Flash, Glitter, Gleam, Glisten, Glister. Flash differs from glitter and gleam, denoting a flood or wide extent of light. The latter words may express the issuing of light from a small object, or from a pencil of rays. Flash differs from other words, also, in denoting suddenness of appearance and disappearance. Flashing differs from exploding or disploding in not being accompanied with a loud report. To glisten, or glister, is to shine with a soft and fitful luster, as eyes suffused with tears, or flowers wet with dew.

    2. Flash ( flăsh ), v. t.
      1. To send out in flashes; to cause to burst forth with sudden flame or light.

      The chariot of paternal Deity,

      Flashing thick flames. Milton.

      2. To convey as by a flash; to light up, as by a sudden flame or light; as, “to flash a message along the wires; to flash conviction on the mind.”

      3. ( Glass Making ) To cover with a thin layer, as objects of glass with glass of a different color. See Flashing, n., 3

      4. To trick up in a showy manner.

      Limning and flashing it with various dyes. A. Brewer.

      5. [Perh. due to confusion between flash of light and plash, splash.] To strike and throw up large bodies of water from the surface; to splash. [Obs.]

      He rudely flashed the waves about. Spenser.

      Flashed glass. See Flashing, n., 3.

    3. Flash, n.; pl. Flashes
      1. A sudden burst of light; a flood of light instantaneously appearing and disappearing; a momentary blaze; as, “a flash of lightning”.

      2. A sudden and brilliant burst, as of wit or genius; a momentary brightness or show.

      The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind. Shak.

      No striking sentiment, no flash of fancy. Wirt.

      3. The time during which a flash is visible; an instant; a very brief period; as, “I'll be back in a flash”.

      The Persians and Macedonians had it for a flash. Bacon.

      4. A preparation of capsicum, burnt sugar, etc., for coloring and giving a fictitious strength to liquors.

      5. A lamp for providing intense momentary light to take a photograph; as, “to take a picture without a flash”.

      Syn. -- flashbulb, photoflash, flash lamp, flashgun.

      6. Same as flashlight. [informal]

      7. ( Journalism ) A short news item providing recently received and usually preliminary information about an event that is considered important enough to interrupt normal broadcasting or other news delivery services; also called a news flash or bulletin.

      Flash light, or Flashing light, a kind of light shown by lighthouses, produced by the revolution of reflectors, so as to show a flash of light every few seconds, alternating with periods of dimness. Knight. -- Flash in the pan, the flashing of the priming in the pan of a flintlock musket without discharging the piece; hence, sudden, spasmodic effort that accomplishes nothing.

    4. Flash, a.
      1. Showy, but counterfeit; cheap, pretentious, and vulgar; as, “flash jewelry; flash finery.”

      2. Wearing showy, counterfeit ornaments; vulgarly pretentious; as, “flash people; flash men or women”; -- applied especially to thieves, gamblers, and prostitutes that dress in a showy way and wear much cheap jewelry.

      Flash house, a house frequented by flash people, as thieves and whores; hence, a brothel. “A gang of footpads, reveling with their favorite beauties at a flash house.” Macaulay.

    5. Flash, n. Slang or cant of thieves and prostitutes.

    6. Flash, n. [OE. flasche, flaske; cf. OF. flache, F. flaque.]
      1. A pool. [Prov. Eng.] Haliwell.

      2. ( Engineering ) A reservoir and sluiceway beside a navigable stream, just above a shoal, so that the stream may pour in water as boats pass, and thus bear them over the shoal.

      Flash wheel ( Mech. ), a paddle wheel made to revolve in a breast or curved water way, by which water is lifted from the lower to the higher level.