flash in the pan


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flash in the pan

Someone or something whose success or popularity is short-lived. With only one hit song, it was obvious that the young pop star was going to be just another flash in the pan. The new startup created a lot of buzz, but it ended up being just another flash in the pan, out of business after just two years.
See also: flash, pan

flash in the pan

Fig. someone or something that draws a lot of attention for a very brief time. I'm afraid that my success as a painter was just a flash in the pan. Tom had hoped to be a major film star, but his career was only a flash in the pan.
See also: flash, pan

flash in the pan

An effort or person that promises great success but fails. For example, His second novel proved to be a flash in the pan, or We had high hopes for the new director, but she was a flash in the pan. This metaphoric term alludes to the 17th-century flintlock musket, which could be fired only when the flash of the priming powder in the lockpan ignited the charge in the bore. When it failed to ignite, there was only a flash in the pan and the gun did not shoot.
See also: flash, pan

a flash in the pan

COMMON
1. If an achievement or success is a flash in the pan, it is unlikely to be repeated or to last. In the days following Beckon's victory, the British establishment has gone out of its way to try and dismiss the result as a flash in the pan.
2. If someone who has had a success is a flash in the pan, their success is unlikely to be repeated. Hopefully now I'll be taken seriously, I'm not a flash in the pan. Note: You can use flash-in-the-pan before a noun. Hers is no flash-in-the-pan talent, but a major and mature new voice. Note: This expression has its origins in the way that an old-fashioned gun worked. Pulling the trigger produced a spark which set light to a small amount of gunpowder held in the `pan'. This in turn lit the rest of the gunpowder. However, if it failed to do so there was just a `flash in the pan' and the gun did not fire properly. `Hang fire' has a similar origin.
See also: flash, pan

flash in the pan

a thing or person whose sudden but brief success is not repeated or repeatable.
This phrase developed from the priming of a firearm, the flash being from an explosion of gunpowder within the lock.
1998 New Scientist But Java…may turn out to be flash in the pan: books on human– computer interaction struggle to stay abreast of rapid developments in computing.
See also: flash, pan

a ˌflash in the ˈpan

(informal) a success which lasts for a short time and is not likely to be repeated: He scored a lot of goals early in the season, but hasn’t scored any since, so it may have been just a flash in the pan.This refers to an old type of gun. Sometimes the gunpowder in the pan (= a small container at the top of the gun) exploded but failed to set fire to the gunpowder inside the gun with the result that the gun did not fire a bullet.
See also: flash, pan

flash in the pan

One that promises great success but fails.
See also: flash, pan

flash in the pan

An ultimate disappointment after a promising start. Flintlock muskets and pistols had a priming pan that was filled with a small quality of gunpowder. When the trigger was pulled, the flint struck a piece of steel to create a spark that ignited the powder, which in turn set off the main gunpowder charge to launch the musket ball. Whenever the flint-and-steel spark failed to light the main charge, there was a flash in the pan, but no shot. And that was the disappointment after a potentially useful beginning.
See also: flash, pan