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5 definitions found
 for Flash in the pan
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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.
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              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.
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              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]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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.
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              No striking sentiment, no flash of fancy. --Wirt.
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     3. The time during which a flash is visible; an instant; a
        very brief period; as, I'll be back in a flash.
        [1913 Webster +PJC]
              The Persians and Macedonians had it for a flash.
        [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]
     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.
     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]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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 setting milk for cream, for
        frying or baking food, etc.; also employed for various
        uses in manufacturing. "A bowl or a pan." --Chaucer.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. (Manuf.) A closed vessel for boiling or evaporating. See
        Vacuum pan, under Vacuum.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. The part of a flintlock which holds the priming.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. The skull, considered as a vessel containing the brain;
        the upper part of the head; the brainpan; the cranium.
        [1913 Webster]
     5. (Carp.) A recess, or bed, for the leaf of a hinge.
        [1913 Webster]
     6. The hard stratum of earth that lies below the soil. See
        Hard pan, under Hard.
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     7. A natural basin, containing salt or fresh water, or mud.
        [1913 Webster]
     Flash in the pan. See under Flash.
     To savor of the pan, to suggest the process of cooking or
        burning; in a theological sense, to be heretical.
        --Ridley. Southey.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  flash in the pan
      n 1: someone who enjoys transient success but then fails

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  73 Moby Thesaurus words for "flash in the pan":
     abortion, abortive attempt, also-ran, bankrupt, best seller,
     big hit, blank cartridge, bogy, brilliant success, bubble, bugaboo,
     bugbear, castrato, cipher, cry of wolf, dud, dummy, ephemera,
     ephemeral, ephemerid, ephemerides, ephemeris, eunuch, fad, failure,
     false alarm, flop, gas, gasser, gelding, great success, hit,
     hollow man, impotent, incompetent, invalid, jackstraw, killing,
     lay figure, loser, man of straw, mayfly, merry chase,
     meteoric success, miscarriage, miscarrying, misfire,
     momentary success, nebbish, nobody, nonentity, nothing, nullity,
     puppet, pushover, resounding triumph, riot, roaring success,
     sensation, smash, smash hit, smoke, snows of yesteryear,
     thing of naught, trifle, triumph, vain attempt, washout, weakling,
     wet squib, wild-goose chase, wow, zero

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