flash back

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flash back

1. verb To momentarily show or describe a past time or occurrence, as in a book, movie, or TV show. I liked that part when the narrator flashed back to all the times she had encountered the strange man before.
2. verb To unexpectedly recall or re-experience something from the past. That particular smell always makes me flash back to my childhood.
3. noun An instance in which someone recalls or re-experiences something from the past. In this usage, the phrase is usually written as one word. That particular smell always makes me have a momentary childhood flashback.
See also: back, flash
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

flash back (to someone or something)

to return briefly to a view of someone or something in the past. (In films, literature, and television.) The story suddenly flashed back to Tom when he was a child. The story flashed back to Tom's childhood.
See also: back, flash
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

flash back

1. To undergo a change of scene to a previous point in time as a narrative device: In this chapter, the main character flashes back to her youth.
2. To remember or reexperience a previous point in time, usually suddenly: Whenever he hears sirens, he flashes back to his service in Vietnam.
See also: back, flash
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n. a memory of the past; a portrayal of the past in a story. Suddenly, Fred had a wonderful flashback to his childhood.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
But then the scene jumps to a flashback which involves some love and drama.
7.30pm-8.30pm: Husband slips into a full flashback. Takes 45 minutes and extra medication to de-escalate the situation and convince him that it is not 1993, I am "me" and the grown man in the house is his son, rather than the baby he expects to see.
It's that moment when he closed the blinds that always comes to me in the flashbacks. It was so sinister.
This allows egocentric memories to be involuntarily re-experienced - resulting in more flashbacks. In those that have drunk seven or more units of alcohol both types of memory are disrupted leading to fewer flashbacks and an overall reduction in memory for the event.
Witt Flashback arrestors can be mounted in any position or orientation with one flashback arrestor connected to protect each individual piece of equipment.
The odds ratios were 1.5 for exposed-only subjects, 2 for those who experienced only flashbacks, 3 for those who expressed wider symptoms, and 4 for those with PTSD.
Jehel said, 32% of those surveyed had at least one exposure, 10% had experienced flashbacks, and 5% had experienced symptoms within the prior month.
She said while her life had moved on since the machete horror, she still suffered occasional flashbacks.
But, all of a sudden, I started to be hit by a succession of flashbacks.
From that vantage point, most of the events of the movie are depicted in a never-ending series of flashbacks through the eyes of top-ranking CIA agent Edward Wilson (portrayed by Matt Damon).
An office manager committed suicide after suffering flashbacks from the London bombings, a Teesside inquest heard.
The film repeatedly relies on flashbacks to show the troubled past and dark secrets the family has been dealing with, including the abuse Suzie suffered at the hands of a previous partner and a later miscarriage.
Mears said he often had flashbacks of incidents after drinking.
Letts is at her best when describing the coastal scenery ("The hillsides were variegated, some fields of tall grass scattered profusely with goldenrod, others a harmonious blend of dense low-lying chaparral, bluish green to grey, like a natural patchwork") as well as in flashbacks to Clara's developing relationship with the brilliantly-drawn Gordon ("I was drowning in him, plunging somewhere deep and fast--on that same speedy trajectory that a car would take when the land beneath it disappeared, or an icy airplane that decided to drop from the sky").
What is the cause of these terrible statistics, and how can Vietnam veterans cope with flashbacks, depression, fits of rage and worse?