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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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
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.