flash

Ever notice how quick the flash is on a camera? That's how fast other types of flashes are, including the super-fast superhero The Flash.

Whether you're talking about a flash of lighting or a flash of insight, a flash is quick and bright and sudden. There aren't any slow, long flashes. Because flashes are so fast, the word is often used for anything that happens really quickly: a flash is as fast as a New York minute, the blink of an eye, a heartbeat, an instant, a jiffy, or a split second.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: flash

1
vn
emit a brief burst of light
a sudden intense burst of radiant energy
2
vn
make known or cause to appear with great speed
a very short time (as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat)
3
vnadj
display proudly; act ostentatiously or pretentiously
a gaudy outward display
tastelessly showy
4
v
protect by covering with a thin sheet of metal
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: flash
1

v emit a brief burst of light

“A shooting star flashed and was gone”
Type of:
appear
come into sight or view

v gleam or glow intermittently

“The lights were flashing
Synonyms:
blink, twinkle, wink, winkle
Types:
flick, flicker
flash intermittently
Type of:
radiate
cause to be seen by emitting light as if in rays

v appear briefly

“The headlines flashed on the screen”
Type of:
appear
come into sight or view

v expose or show briefly

“he flashed a $100 bill”
Type of:
show
make visible or noticeable

n a sudden intense burst of radiant energy

Types:
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flicker, glint, spark
a momentary flash of light
gleam, gleaming, glimmer
a flash of light (especially reflected light)
coruscation, glitter, sparkle
the occurrence of a small flash or spark
heat flash
a flash of intense heat (as released by an atomic explosion)
lightning
the flash of light that accompanies an electric discharge in the atmosphere (or something resembling such a flash); can scintillate for a second or more
streak
a sudden flash (as of lightning)
heat lightning
bright flashes of light near the horizon without thunder (especially on hot evenings); usually attributed to distant lightning that is reflected by clouds
sheet lighting
lightning that appears as a broad sheet; due to reflections of more distant lightning and to diffusion by the clouds
Type of:
happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent
an event that happens

n a momentary brightness

Type of:
brightness
the location of a visual perception along a continuum from black to white

n a lamp for providing momentary light to take a photograph

Synonyms:
flash bulb, flash lamp, flashbulb, flashgun, photoflash
Type of:
lamp
an artificial source of visible illumination
photographic equipment
equipment used by a photographer

n a burst of light used to communicate or illuminate

Synonyms:
flare
Types:
star shell
an artillery shell containing an illuminant
Bengal light
a steady bright blue light; formerly used as a signal but now a firework
Very light, Very-light
a colored flare fired from a Very pistol
Type of:
visual signal
a signal that involves visual communication

n a bright patch of color used for decoration or identification

“red flashes adorned the airplane”
“a flash sewn on his sleeve indicated the unit he belonged to”
Type of:
patch
a piece of cloth used as decoration or to mend or cover a hole
2

v make known or cause to appear with great speed

“The latest intelligence is flashed to all command posts”
Type of:
convey
make known; pass on, of information

v run or move very quickly or hastily

Synonyms:
dart, dash, scoot, scud, shoot
buck, charge, shoot, shoot down, tear
move quickly and violently
Types:
plunge
dash violently or with great speed or impetuosity
Type of:
belt along, bucket along, cannonball along, hasten, hie, hotfoot, pelt along, race, rush, rush along, speed, step on it
move fast

n a very short time (as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat)

“if I had the chance I'd do it in a flash
Synonyms:
New York minute, blink of an eye, heartbeat, instant, jiffy, split second, trice, twinkling, wink
Type of:
bit, minute, mo, moment, second
an indefinitely short time

n a short vivid experience

“a flash of emotion swept over him”
Synonyms:
flashing
Type of:
experience
an event as apprehended

n a sudden brilliant understanding

“he had a flash of intuition”
Type of:
brainstorm, brainwave, insight
the clear (and often sudden) understanding of a complex situation

n a short news announcement concerning some on-going news story

Synonyms:
news bulletin, newsbreak, newsflash
Type of:
bulletin
a brief report (especially an official statement issued for immediate publication or broadcast)
3

v display proudly; act ostentatiously or pretentiously

Synonyms:
flaunt, ostentate, show off, swank
Types:
flex
exhibit the strength of
splurge
be showy or ostentatious
Type of:
display, exhibit, expose
to show, make visible or apparent

n a gaudy outward display

Synonyms:
fanfare, ostentation
Types:
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bluster, bravado
a swaggering show of courage
exhibitionism
extravagant and conspicuous behavior intended to attract attention to yourself
ritz
ostentatious display of elegance
splurge
an ostentatious display (of effort or extravagance etc.)
pedantry
an ostentatious and inappropriate display of learning
Type of:
display
exhibiting openly in public view

adj tastelessly showy

“a flash car”
Synonyms:
brassy, cheap, flashy, garish, gaudy, gimcrack, loud, meretricious, tacky, tatty, tawdry, trashy
tasteless
lacking aesthetic or social taste
4

v protect by covering with a thin sheet of metal

flash the roof”
Type of:
cover
provide with a covering or cause to be covered
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