Student Dictionary

4 entries found for flash.
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Main Entry: 1flash
Pronunciation: primarystressflash
Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English flaschen
1 : to shine in or like a sudden flame <lightning flashed> <her eyes flashed with excitement>
2 : to send out in or as if in flashes <flash a message>
3 : to appear or pass very suddenly <a car flashed by>
4 : to gleam or glow in sudden bursts
5 : to expose to view usually briefly <flash a badge>
Word History The origin of the word flash is uncertain, though it rhymes with a number of other verbs that also mean forceful, often violent movement that may come to a quick end: dash, lash, crash, slash, clash, gash, bash, splash, smash. These words turn up in English over a fairly long period of time, from dash--the only word in the group with a likely foreign source--in the 14th century to smash in the 18th century. The element -ash has thus provided a kind of model for new words. The initial fl- that is added to -ash to make flash is also heard in words meaning quick movement, as flee, fly, flicker, and flutter.

Pronunciation Symbols