Flash in the pan
Flash 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. [1913 Webster]

2. A sudden and brilliant burst, as of wit or genius; a momentary brightness or show. [1913 Webster]

The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

No striking sentiment, no flash of fancy. --Wirt. [1913 Webster]

3. The time during which a flash is visible; an instant; a very brief period. [1913 Webster]

The Persians and Macedonians had it for a flash. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

4. A preparation of capsicum, burnt sugar, etc., for coloring and giving a fictitious strength to liquors. [1913 Webster]

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. [WordNet 1.5]

6. Same as {flashlight}. [informal] [PJC]

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}. [PJC]

{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. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • flash in the pan — Flash Flash (fl[a^]sh), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Flashed} (fl[a^]sht); 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Flash in the pan — Pan Pan, n. [OE. panne, AS. panne; cf. D. pan, G. pfanne, OHG. pfanna, Icel., Sw., LL., & Ir. panna, of uncertain origin; cf. L. patina, E. paten.] 1. A shallow, open dish or vessel, usually of metal, employed for many domestic uses, as for… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • flash in the pan — If something is a flash in the pan, it is very noticeable but doesn t last long, like most singers, who are very successful for a while, then forgotten …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • flash in the pan — ► flash in the pan a sudden but brief success. [ORIGIN: with allusion to the priming of a firearm, the flash arising from an explosion of gunpowder within the lock.] Main Entry: ↑flash …   English terms dictionary

  • flash in the pan — noun someone who enjoys transient success but then fails • Hypernyms: ↑failure, ↑loser, ↑nonstarter, ↑unsuccessful person * * * 1. : the firing of the priming in the pan of a flintlock musket without discharging the piece 2 …   Useful english dictionary

  • flash in the pan — {n. phr.}, {slang} A person or thing that starts out well but does not continue. * /The new quarterback was a flash in the pan./ * /Mary got 100 on the first test in arithmetic but it was just a flash in the pan because she failed in arithmetic./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • flash in the pan — {n. phr.}, {slang} A person or thing that starts out well but does not continue. * /The new quarterback was a flash in the pan./ * /Mary got 100 on the first test in arithmetic but it was just a flash in the pan because she failed in arithmetic./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • flash in the pan —    If something is a flash in the pan, it is very noticeable but doesn t last long, like most singers, who are very successful for a while, then forgotten.   (Dorking School Dictionary)    ***    If you refer to somebody s success as a flash in… …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • flash\ in\ the\ pan — n. phr. slang A person or thing that starts out well but does not continue. The new quarterback was a flash in the pan. Mary got 100 on the first test in arithmetic but it was just a flash in the pan because she failed in arithmetic …   Словарь американских идиом

  • flash in the pan — noun a) A transient occurrence with no long term effect. The concept turned out to be merely a flash in the pan, and is no longer used. b) A career notable for early success not followed by significant accomplishment …   Wiktionary

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