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1 definition found
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.
1. To burst or break forth with a sudden and transient flood
of flame and light; as, the lighting flashes vividly; the
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.
Names which have flashed and thundered as the watch
words of unnumbered struggles. --Talfourd.
The object is made to flash upon the eye of the
mind. --M. Arnold.
A thought flashed through me, which I clothed in
3. To burst forth like a sudden flame; to break out
violently; to rush hastily.
He flashes into one gross crime or other. --Shak.
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.
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