UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈflæʃ/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/flæʃ/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(flash)

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
flash /flæʃ/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. a brief, sudden burst of bright light or flame:a flash of lightning.
  2. a sudden, brief outburst or display:a flash of humor; a flash of anger.
  3. a very brief moment;
    instant:Quick as a flash, she was gone.
  4. a sudden thought, insight, or vision:a flash of inspiration.
  5. Journalisma brief dispatch giving preliminary news of an important story:a news flash from election headquarters.
  6. Informal Termsflashlight.
  7. Photography
    • Photographybright artificial light thrown briefly upon a subject during a photographic exposure.
    • the bulb or mechanism producing such light.

  1. to (cause to) break forth into sudden flame or light, esp. briefly or irregularly: [no object]The light on the police car was flashing.[+ object]The police car flashed its lights.
  2. to gleam:[no object]The cat's eyes flashed in the darkness.
  3. to send forth like a flash:[+ object]She flashed a dazzling smile.
  4. to appear suddenly:[no object]The answer flashed into his mind.
  5. to send a message quickly by electronic means:[+ object]The reporters flashed the story to the studio in New York.
  6. to display briefly:[+ object]She flashed her ID card at the guard.

  1. sudden and brief:[before a noun]a flash fire; a flash flood.
  1. Idiomsflash in the pan, [countable]
    • a brief, intense, but pointless effort that produces small and meaningless results:The plan was no more than a flash in the pan.
    • one whose promise or success is temporary:another politician who is just a flash in the pan.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
flash  (flash),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. a brief, sudden burst of bright light:a flash of lightning.
  2. a sudden, brief outburst or display of joy, wit, etc.
  3. a very brief moment;
    instant:I'll be back in a flash.
  4. Informal Termsflashlight (def. 1).
  5. superficial, meretricious, or vulgar showiness;
    ostentatious display.
  6. JournalismAlso called  news flash. a brief dispatch sent by a wire service, usually transmitting preliminary news of an important story or development. Cf. bulletin (def. 2).
  7. [Photog.]
    • Photographybright artificial light thrown briefly upon a subject during an exposure.
    • PhotographySee  flash lamp. 
    • Photographyflashbulb.
    • Photographyflashtube.
  8. the sudden flame or intense heat produced by a bomb or other explosive device.
  9. a sudden thought, insight, inspiration, or vision.
  10. Slang Termsrush (def. 25).
  11. [Metall.]
    • Metallurgya ridge of metal left on a casting by a seam between parts of the mold.
    • Metallurgya ridge formed at the edge of a forging or weld where excess metal has been squeezed out.
  12. Games[Poker.]a hand containing all five suits in a game played with a five-suit pack.
  13. a device, as a lock or sluice, for confining and releasing water to send a boat down a shallow stream.
  14. the rush of water thus produced.
  15. See  hot flash. 
  16. [Obs.]the cant or jargon of thieves, vagabonds, etc.
  17. Idiomsflash in the pan: 
    • a brief, intense effort that produces no really significant result.
    • a person who makes such an effort;
      one who enjoys short-lived success.

  1. to break forth into sudden flame or light, esp. transiently or intermittently:a buoy flashing in the distance.
  2. to gleam.
  3. to burst suddenly into view or perception:The answer flashed into his mind.
  4. to move like a flash.
  5. to speak or behave with sudden anger, outrage, or the like (often fol. by out):to flash out at a stupid remark.
  6. to break into sudden action.
  7. Slang Termsto open one's clothes and expose the genitals suddenly, and usually briefly, in public.
  8. Slang Termsto experience the intense effects of a narcotic or stimulant drug.
  9. to dash or splash, as the sea or waves.
  10. [Archaic.]to make a flash or sudden display.

  1. to emit or send forth (fire or light) in sudden flashes.
  2. to cause to flash, as powder by ignition or a sword by waving.
  3. to send forth like a flash.
  4. to communicate instantaneously, as by radio or telegraph.
  5. to make an ostentatious display of:He's forever flashing a large roll of bills.
  6. to display suddenly and briefly:She flashed her ID card at the guard.
  7. to change (water) instantly into steam by pouring or directing onto a hot surface.
  8. to increase the flow of water in (a river, channel, etc.).
  9. Ceramics[Glassmaking and Ceram.]
    • to coat (plain glass or a glass or ceramic object) with a layer of colored, opalescent, or white glass.
    • to apply (such a layer).
    • to color or make (glass) opaque by reheating.
  10. [Building Trades.]to protect from leakage with flashing.
  11. Games[Cards.]to expose (a card) in the process of dealing.
  12. [Archaic.]to dash or splash (water).
  13. Slang Termsflash on: 
    • to have a sudden thought, insight, or inspiration about.
    • to have a sudden, vivid memory or mental picture of:I just flashed on that day we spent at the lake.
    • to feel an instantaneous understanding and appreciation of.

  1. sudden and brief:a flash storm.
  2. showy or ostentatious.
  3. caused by or used as protection against flash:flash injuries; flash clothing.
  4. counterfeit or sham.
  5. belonging to or connected with thieves, vagabonds, etc., or their cant or jargon.
  6. of or pertaining to followers of boxing, racing, etc.
flashing•ly, adv. 
  • 1350–1400; Middle English flasshen to sprinkle, splash, earlier flask(i)en; probably phonesthemic in origin, originally; compare similar expressive words with fl- and -sh
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged flare, gleam, glare.
    • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged twinkling, wink.
    • 19.See corresponding entry in Unabridged scintillate.
      Flash, glance, glint, glitter mean to send forth a sudden gleam (or gleams) of bright light. To
      flash is to send forth light with a sudden, transient brilliancy:A shooting star flashed briefly.To
      glance is to emit a brilliant flash of light as a reflection from a smooth surface:Sunlight glanced from the glass windshield.Glint suggests a hard bright gleam of reflected light, as from something polished or burnished:Light glints from silver or from burnished copper.To
      glitter is to reflect intermittent flashes of light from a hard surface:Ice glitters in the moonlight.
    • 42.See corresponding entry in Unabridged flashy, gaudy, tawdry;
      pretentious, superficial.
    • 44.See corresponding entry in Unabridged false, fake.

FLASH  (flash),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Militarya precedence code for handling messages about initial enemy contact or operational combat messages of extreme urgency within the U.S. military.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
flash /flæʃ/ n
  1. a sudden short blaze of intense light or flame: a flash of sunlight
  2. a very brief space of time: over in a flash
  3. Also called: newsflash a short news announcement concerning a new event
  4. Also called: patch chiefly Brit an insignia or emblem worn on a uniform, vehicle, etc, to identify its military formation
  5. a volatile mixture of inorganic salts used to produce a glaze on bricks or tiles
  6. a sudden rush of water down a river or watercourse
  7. informal
    short for flashlight
  8. (modifier) involving, using, or produced by a flash of heat, light, etc: flash blindness, flash distillation
  9. flash in the pana project, person, etc, that enjoys only short-lived success, notoriety, etc
  1. informal ostentatious or vulgar
  2. sham or counterfeit
  3. informal relating to or characteristic of the criminal underworld
  4. 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. (intr; followed by out or up) to appear like a sudden light
  6. to signal or communicate very fast
  7. to signal by use of a light, such as car headlights
  8. (transitive) informal to display ostentatiously
  9. (transitive) informal to show suddenly and briefly
  10. (intransitive) Brit slang to expose oneself indecently
  11. to send a sudden rush of water down (a river, etc), or to carry (a vessel) down by this method
Etymology: 14th Century (in the sense: to rush, as of water): of unknown origin
'flash' also found in these entries:

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