flash across (something)

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flash across (something)

1. To move or appear quickly across something. When my headlights flashed across a deer in the middle of the road, I brought the car to a screeching halt. Fear flashed across Jason's face as he tumbled out of the tree.
2. To quickly enter one's mind. An image of my keys on the dining room table suddenly flashed across my mind, and I remembered where I'd left them.
See also: across, flash
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

flash across something

 
1. Lit. [for something bright] to move quickly across something. The telephone number flashed across the television screen too fast for me to copy it down. The spotlight flashed across the audience, blinding me as it went by.
2. Fig. [for an idea or image] to move quickly through one's mind. A solution to the problem suddenly flashed across my mind. Thoughts of food flashed across my mind, and I began to be very hungry.
See also: across, flash
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
Once a leash of thin black whips, like the arms of an octopus, flashed across the sunset and was immediately with- drawn, and afterwards a thin rod rose up, joint by joint, bearing at its apex a circular disk that spun with a wobbling motion.
Why, it flashed across me that though so much had happened in her life and in mine, she was barely twenty-four years old.
A sudden light flashed across Wingrave's face, dying out again almost immediately.
Suddenly he seemed to remember; a scarcely perceptible smile flashed across his puffy face, and bowing low and respectfully he took the object that lay on the salver.
This telegram flashed across the depths of the Atlantic, the designation of the vessel on board which he was to take his passage, the date assigned for his speedy arrival, all combined to impart a certain character of reality to the proposal.
The certainty of immediate detection if he fired, flashed across his mind even in the midst of his fury; and he beat it twice with all the force he could summon, upon the upturned face that almost touched his own.
Presently I noted that the sun belt swayed up and down, from solstice to solstice, in a minute or less, and that consequently my pace was over a year a minute; and minute by minute the white snow flashed across the world, and vanished, and was followed by the bright, brief green of spring.
A thought now flashed across the captain's mind that they really had a plan to depose him, and that, having picked up some information at Owyhee, possibly of war between the United States and England, they meant to alter the destination of the voyage; perhaps to seize upon ship and cargo for their own use.
"Oh!" exclaimed the boy, as if a great discovery had flashed across his mind.
A yellow light flashed across the blue window, and for a second they saw the green trees outside.
I shall be late!' (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually TOOK A WATCH OUT OF ITS WAISTCOAT- POCKET, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.
And then, at last, the truth flashed across me, and I wondered if I should be in time.
For there flashed across the shoulders of these people a glance which was wholly out of harmony with his own state of barely subdued passion
A dozen questions flashed across Robin's mind, and he could find answer for none of them.
He was thinking now with pleasure and excitement of the race, of his being anyhow, in time, and now and then the thought of the blissful interview awaiting him that night flashed across his imagination like a flaming light.