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

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

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


n. a memory of the past; a portrayal of the past in a story. Suddenly, Fred had a wonderful flashback to his childhood.
References in periodicals archive ?
Witt recommend that flashback arrestor users test the non-return valve, body leak tightness and flow capacity annually using Witt's special test equipment.
5 for exposed, 4 for those with flashbacks, 7 for those with wider symptoms).
It was from the vantage point that flashback two emerged.
Nicholas Gareth-Jones, prosecuting, said to the jury: 'Mr Mears says he doesn't remember what happened yet he insists he didn't assault this woman on the basis of not having any flashbacks.
I cannot concentrate on my school work because I suffer flashbacks to this incident.
The frame-story begins as a wryly humorous, metafictional first-person journal with the structural irony of abruptly shifting, alternating sub-sections of flashbacks and retrospective narrative that reveal in various lengths separated by three "x's," rather than specific dates, his childhood ambition to become a serious writer and his modernist literary aesthetic.
Like flashbacks, historical newsreels are interspersed with these images.
Kenzie's adult scenes are vague and unrealwin one scene, Kenzie worries that she is having alcohol blackouts, as she cannot recall any details of the immediate past--but her flashbacks are detailed in their pain.
We're also doing flashbacks, so there are origin stories of Megabyte and Hexadecimal, and the first meeting of Bob and Dot.
His sexual encounters, depicted in languid flashbacks, simmer with sensuality.
Flailing blindly, he encounters a ghostly figure who reveals to Hamlet in a series of flashbacks the king's death, his murderer, and events in the kingdom since then.
Flashbacks, which can occur years after the user has sworn off the drug, can be frightening.
After losing more than 100 pounds in a hospital weight-reduction program she had entered to battle severe obesity, Claudia experienced flashbacks of sexual abuse committed by her older brother.
The Cam Ne story was broadcast over and over again in the United States and overseas," Safer remarks in Flashbacks, his retrospective on his time as a Vietnam war correspondent and account of his 1989 visit there to make a CBS documentary.