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 flood of flame and light; as, the lighting flashes vividly; the powder flashed. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

Names which have flashed and thundered as the watch words of unnumbered struggles. --Talfourd. [1913 Webster]

The object is made to flash upon the eye of the mind. --M. Arnold. [1913 Webster]

A thought flashed through me, which I clothed in act. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

3. To burst forth like a sudden flame; to break out violently; to rush hastily. [1913 Webster]

Every hour He flashes into one gross crime or other. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{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. [1913 Webster +PJC]

Syn: {Flash}, {Glitter}, {Gleam}, {Glisten}, {Glister}.

Usage: 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. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Flashing — Flash ing, n. 1. (Engineering) The creation of an artifical flood by the sudden letting in of a body of water; called also {flushing}. [1913 Webster] 2. (Arch.) Pieces of metal, built into the joints of a wall, so as to lap over the edge of the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • flashing — ► NOUN ▪ a strip of metal used to seal the junction of a roof with another surface …   English terms dictionary

  • flashing — [flash′iŋ] n. 1. the action of a person or thing that flashes 2. sheets of metal or other material used to weatherproof joints formed where exterior surfaces, as of a roof and a wall, meet at an angle …   English World dictionary

  • flashing — /ˈflæʃɪŋ/ (say flashing) adjective 1. shining briefly with the intermittent occurrence of light: a flashing light. 2. shining briefly with the sudden occurrence of understanding, emotion, etc.: flashing eyes. –noun 3. Building Trades a piece of… …   Australian English dictionary

  • flashing — {{11}}flashing (adj.) 1570s, of light; prp. adjective from FLASH (Cf. flash) (v.). {{12}}flashing (n.) indecent exposure, 1896, verbal noun from FLASH (Cf. flash) (v.). The meaning strip of metal used in roofing, etc. is from 1782, earlier simply …   Etymology dictionary

  • flashing — coun·ter·flashing; flashing; …   English syllables

  • flashing — a quick, half spin movement when the fish rubs itself against a surface, e.g. tank base or cage side, the flash being caused by the light reflecting off the flank or abdomen of the fish. Fish typically exhibit flashing when their skin is… …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • flashing — noun a) Components used to weatherproof or seal roof system edges at perimeters, penetrations, walls, expansion joints, valleys, drains and other places where the roof covering is interrupted or terminated. The incessant flashing of the neon sign …   Wiktionary

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