v., n., & adj.
1 intr. & tr. emit or reflect or cause to emit or reflect light briefly, suddenly, or intermittently; gleam or cause to gleam.
2 intr. break suddenly into flame; give out flame or sparks.
3 tr. send or reflect like a sudden flame or blaze (his eyes flashed fire).
4 intr. a burst suddenly into view or perception (the explanation flashed upon me). b move swiftly (the train flashed through the station).
5 tr. a send (news etc.) by radio, telegraph, etc. (flashed a message to her). b signal to (a person) by shining lights or headlights briefly.
6 tr. colloq. show ostentatiously (flashed her engagement ring).
7 intr. (of water) rush along; rise and flow.
8 intr. sl. indecently expose oneself.
1 a sudden bright light or flame, e.g. of lightning.
2 a very brief time; an instant (all over in a flash).
3 a a brief, sudden burst of feeling (a flash of hope). b a sudden display (of wit, understanding, etc.).
5 Photog. = FLASHLIGHT 1.
6 a a rush of water, esp. down a weir to take a boat over shallows. b a contrivance for producing this.
7 Brit. Mil. a coloured patch of cloth on a uniform etc. as a distinguishing emblem.
8 vulgar display, ostentation.
9 a bright patch of colour.
10 Cinematog. the momentary exposure of a scene.
11 excess plastic or metal oozing from a mould during moulding.
—adj. colloq.
1 gaudy; showy; vulgar (a flash car).
2 counterfeit (flash notes).
3 connected with thieves, the underworld, etc.
Phrases and idioms:
flash-board a board used for sending more water from a mill-dam into a mill-race. flash bulb Photog. a bulb for a flashlight. flash burn a burn caused by sudden intense heat, esp. from a nuclear explosion. flash card a card containing a small amount of information, held up for pupils to see, as an aid to learning. flash-cube Photog. a set of four flash bulbs arranged as a cube and operated in turn. flash-flood a sudden local flood due to heavy rain etc. flash-gun Photog. a device used to operate a camera flashlight. flashing-point = FLASHPOINT. flash in the pan a promising start followed by failure (from the priming of old guns). flash-lamp a portable flashing electric lamp. flash out (or up) show sudden passion. flash over Electr. make an electric circuit by sparking across a gap. flash-over n. an instance of this.
Etymology: ME orig. with ref. to the rushing of water: cf. SPLASH

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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