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 ?
It features 8 MP Auto Focus with LED Flash Back Camera , 2MP Front Camera , 8GB ROM with expandable Micro SD up to 32GB and 2000mAh battery.
Flash back twenty years, to the time when the Bolshoi Ballet was most deeply divided against itself.
I stand, bless myself on forehead, lips, and heart, and listen as the priest reads Mary Magdalene's familiar cry: "They have taken away my Lord, and I don't know where they laid him." I flash back to a spring morning a dozen years earlier when I heard Mary's cry in my own soul.
After a surreal flash back to Arthur's mis-spent and mis-remembered youth, Michael books Arthur a flying lesson as a special treat.
We also flash back to the summer of 1999, when student Karen meets Rex and his glamorous sister Biba (Ophelia Lovibond) and finds herself caught up in their hedonistic party lifestyle.
Things, of course, do not go to plan and we flash back to one week before the big day to discover how it all started to go pear-shaped.
Then I got a flash back to her Big Brother stint where, as my picture shows, not only was she happy to slip into a bikini for the cameras - she was also delighted to whip it off and bare all!
"Like in this case, the vapours flash back and cause serious injury.
And I do not understand why the signs cannot flash back and forth from Welsh to English.
While the series is fairly predictable--Eve will defy authority, have a couple of detailed lovemaking scenes with her sexy, enigmatic Irish husband, and flash back to the abuse she suffered as a child--it's still interesting enough to capture attention.
FLASH BACK: The front page story in the Evening Telegraph on October 20
Photo Blocker's special formula works to reflect the flash back to the camera.