Meaning of FLASH in English

I. ˈflash verb

Etymology: Middle English flaschen, of imitative origin

Date: 13th century

intransitive verb

1. : rush , dash — used of flowing water

2. : to break forth in or like a sudden flame or flare


a. : to appear suddenly

an idea flash es into her mind

b. : to move with great speed

the days flash by


a. : to break forth or out so as to make a sudden display

the sun flash ed from behind a cloud

b. : to act or speak vehemently and suddenly especially in anger


a. : to give off light suddenly or in transient bursts

b. : to glow or gleam especially with animation or passion

her eyes flash ed with anger

6. : to change suddenly or violently into vapor

hot water flash ing to steam under reduced pressure

7. : to expose one's breasts or genitals usually suddenly and briefly in public

8. : to have sudden insight — often used with on

transitive verb


a. archaic : splash

b. : to fill by a sudden inflow of water


a. : to cause the sudden appearance of (light)

b. : to cause to burst violently into flame


(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


a. : to make known or cause to appear with great speed

flash a message on the screen

b. : to display obtrusively and ostentatiously

always flash ing a roll of bills

c. : to expose to view usually suddenly and briefly

flash 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

6. : to expose one's breasts or genitals usually suddenly and briefly to

flash ed the audience


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

a shimmering satin dress

II. noun

Date: 1549


a. : a sudden burst of light

b. : a movement of a flag in signaling

2. : a sudden and often brilliant burst

a flash of wit

3. : a brief time

I'll be back in a flash


a. : show , display ; especially : a vulgar ostentatious display

b. archaic : a showy ostentatious person

c. : one that attracts notice ; especially : an outstanding athlete

d. : pizzazz

5. obsolete : thieves' slang

6. : something flashed: as

a. : glimpse , look

b. : smile

c. : a first brief news report

d. : flashlight 2

e. : a quick-spreading flame or momentary intense outburst of radiant heat


(1) : flashlight 1

(2) : a device for producing a flashlight for taking photographs

7. : rush 7a

8. : the rapid conversion of a liquid into vapor

III. adjective

Date: circa 1700


a. : flashy , showy

b. : of, relating to, or characteristic of flashy people or things

flash behavior

c. : of, relating to, or characteristic of persons considered social outcasts

flash language

2. : of sudden origin and short duration

a flash fire

IV. adverb

Date: 1970

: by very brief exposure to an intense altering agent (as heat or cold)

flash fry

flash freeze

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.