flash in the pan

flash in the pan
F f


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [flash in stressed th ee pan]
    • /flæʃ ɪn stressed ði pæn/
    • /flæʃ ɪn ðə pæn/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [flash in stressed th ee pan]
    • /flæʃ ɪn stressed ði pæn/

Definitions of flash in the pan words

  • noun flash in the pan a brief, sudden burst of bright light: a flash of lightning. 1
  • noun flash in the pan a sudden, brief outburst or display of joy, wit, etc. 1
  • noun flash in the pan a very brief moment; instant: I'll be back in a flash. 1
  • noun flash in the pan Informal. flashlight (def 1). 1
  • noun flash in the pan superficial, meretricious, or vulgar showiness; ostentatious display. 1
  • noun flash in the pan Also called news flash. Journalism. a brief dispatch sent by a wire service, usually transmitting preliminary news of an important story or development. Compare bulletin (def 2). 1

Information block about the term

Origin of flash in the pan

First appearance:

before 1350
One of the 20% oldest English words
1350-1400; Middle English flasshen to sprinkle, splash, earlier flask(i)en; probably phonesthemic in orig.; compare similar expressive words with fl- and -sh

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Flash in the pan


flash in the pan popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 97% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
Most Europeans know this English word. The frequency of it’s usage is somewhere between "mom" and "screwdriver".

flash in the pan usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for flash in the pan

noun flash in the pan

  • bugbear — Something or someone that is your bugbear worries or upsets you.
  • dud — a device, person, or enterprise that proves to be a failure.
  • fad — a temporary fashion, notion, manner of conduct, etc., especially one followed enthusiastically by a group.
  • failure — an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success: His effort ended in failure. The campaign was a failure.
  • misfire — (of a rifle or gun or of a bullet or shell) to fail to fire or explode.

See also

Matching words

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