[flash] vb [ME flaschen, of imit. origin] vi (13c) 1: rush, dash--used of flowing water
2: to break forth in or like a sudden flame or flare 3 a: to appear suddenly "an idea ~es into her mind" b: to move with great speed "the days ~ by"
4. a: to break forth or out so as to make a sudden display "the sun ~ed from behind a cloud" b: to act or speak vehemently and suddenly esp. in anger
5. a: to give off light suddenly or in transient bursts b: to glow or gleam esp. with animation or passion "her eyes ~ed with anger"
6: to change suddenly or violently into vapor "hot water ~ing to steam under reduced pressure" 7: to expose one's genitals usu. suddenly and briefly in public 8: to have sudden insight--often used with on ~ vt 1 a archaic: splash b: to fill by a sudden inflow of water
2. a: to cause the sudden appearance of (light) b: to cause to burst violently into flame c (1): to cause (light) to reflect (2): to cause (as a mirror) to reflect light (3): to cause (a lamp) to flash d: to convey by means of flashes of light 3 a: to make known or cause to appear with great speed "~ a message on the screen" b: to display obtrusively and ostentatiously "always ~ing a roll of bills" c: to expose to view suddenly and briefly "~ed a badge"
4: to cover with or form into a thin layer: as a: to protect against rain by covering with sheet metal or a substitute b: to coat (as glass) with a thin layer (as of metal or a differently colored glass)
5: to subject (an exposed photographic negative or positive) to a supplementary uniform exposure to light before development in order to modify detail or tone syn flash, gleam, glint, sparkle, glitter, glisten, glimmer, shimmer mean to send forth light. flash implies a sudden and transient outburst of bright light "lightning flashed". gleam suggests a steady light seen through an obscuring medium or against a dark background "lights gleamed in the valley". glint implies a cold glancing light "glinting steel". sparkle suggests innumerable moving points of bright light "the sparkling waters of the gulf". glitter connotes a brilliant sparkling or gleaming "glittering diamonds". glisten applies to the soft sparkle from a wet or oily surface "glistening rain-drenched sidewalks". glimmer suggests a faint or wavering gleam "a distant glimmering light". shimmer implies a soft tremulous gleaming or a blurred reflection
flash n (1566) 1 a: a sudden burst of light b: a movement of a flag in signaling
2: a sudden and often brilliant burst "a ~ of wit"
3: a brief time "I'll be back in a ~"
4. a: show, display; esp: a vulgar ostentatious display b archaic: a showy ostentatious person c: one that attracts notice; esp: an outstanding athlete d: pizzazz
5. obs: thieves' slang
6: something flashed: as a: glimpse, look b: smile c: a first brief news report d: flashlight 1,2 e: a quick-spreading flame or momentary intense outburst of radiant heat f: a device for producing a brief and very bright flash of light for taking photographs 7: rush 7a 8: the rapid conversion of a liquid into vapor flash adj (ca. 1700) 1 a: flashy, showy b: of, relating to, or characteristic of flashy people or things "~ behavior" c: of, relating to, or characteristic of persons considered social outcasts "~ language"
2. a: of sudden origin and short duration "a ~ fire" b: involving very brief exposure to an intense altering agent (as heat or cold) "~ drying of milk" "~ freezing of food"