I. flash 1 S3 /flæʃ/ BrE AmE verb
[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Origin: Originally (of liquid) 'to strike a surface' ; from the sound ]
1 . SHINE [intransitive and transitive] to shine suddenly and brightly for a short time, or to make something shine in this way:
Lightning flashed overhead.
flash something into/at/towards somebody/something
Why is that guy flashing his headlights at me?
Red warning lights flashed on and off (=shone for a short time and then stopped shining) .
2 . PICTURES [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to be shown quickly on television, on a computer, or on a film
flash across/onto/past etc
Images of the war flashed across the screen.
3 . flash through sb’s mind/head/brain if thoughts, images, memories etc flash through your mind, you suddenly think of them or remember them:
The possibility that Frank was lying flashed through my mind.
4 . flash a smile/glance/look etc (at somebody) to smile or look at someone quickly and for a short time:
‘I love this city,’ he said, flashing a big smile.
5 . SHOW SOMETHING QUICKLY [transitive] to show something to someone for only a short time:
He flashed his identification card.
6 . NEWS/INFORMATION [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to send news or information somewhere quickly by radio, computer, or ↑ satellite
flash something across/to something
Reporters at the scene flashed the news to their offices.
7 . MOVE QUICKLY [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to move very quickly
A meteor flashed through the sky.
8 . EYES [intransitive] literary if your eyes flash, they look very bright for a moment, especially because of a sudden emotion
Janet’s blue eyes flashed with anger.
9 . SEX ORGANS [intransitive and transitive] if a man flashes, or if he flashes someone, he shows his sexual organs in public ⇨ flasher
10 . sb’s life flashes before their eyes if someone’s life flashes before their eyes, they suddenly remember many events from their life because they are in great danger and might die
11 . TIME PASSING QUICKLY [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] if a period of time or an event flashes by or flashes past, it seems to end very quickly
Our vacation seemed to just flash by.
flash something ↔ around phrasal verb
to use or show something in a way that will make people notice you and think you have a lot of money:
He’s always flashing his money around.
flash back phrasal verb
to suddenly think about or show something that happened in the past, especially in a film, book etc
flash back to
From here the movie flashes back to Billy’s first meeting with Schultz.
⇨ ↑ flashback
flash forward phrasal verb
if a film, book etc flashes forward, it shows what happens in the future
flash forward to
The movie then flashes forward to their daughter’s fifth birthday.
II. flash 2 BrE AmE noun
1 . LIGHT [countable] a bright light that shines for a short time and then stops shining:
Two flashes mean danger.
A flash of lightning lit up the night sky.
a brilliant flash of light
2 . CAMERA [uncountable and countable] a special bright light used when taking photographs indoors or when there is not much light:
Did the flash go off?
3 . in/like a flash ( also quick as a flash ) very quickly:
Just wait here. I’ll be back in a flash.
4 . flash of inspiration/brilliance/insight/anger etc if someone has a flash of ↑ brilliance , anger etc, they suddenly have a clever idea or a particular feeling
5 . a flash in the pan a sudden success that ends quickly and is unlikely to happen again:
Beene’s new novel proves he isn’t just a flash in the pan.
6 . BRIGHT COLOUR/SOMETHING SHINY [countable] if there is a flash of something brightly coloured or shiny, it appears suddenly for a short time
The bird vanished in a flash of blue.
7 . COMPUTER [uncountable] trademark a system of instructions for a computer that is used especially to make pictures on a website appear to move:
8 . LOOK [countable] British English a quick look – used humorously SYN glimpse
9 . MILITARY [countable] British English a small piece of coloured cloth worn on the shoulder of a military uniform
⇨ ↑ newsflash
III. flash 3 BrE AmE adjective
1 . flash flood/fire a flood or fire that happens very quickly or suddenly, and continues for only a short time
2 . British English informal looking very new, bright, and expensive – used to show disapproval:
a big flash car
3 . British English informal liking to have expensive clothes and possessions so that other people notice you – used to show disapproval:
Chris didn’t want to seem flash in front of his mates.