Definition of flashback in English:



  • 1A scene in a film, novel, etc. set in a time earlier than the main story.

    ‘in a series of flashbacks, we follow the pair through their teenage years’
    mass noun ‘the movie tells the story in flashback’
    • ‘The talk show framing device allows Ricky (hidden in the shadows) to narrate his story in flashback.’
    • ‘The story is narrated in flashback by Louis, in a letter written from his prison cell.’
    • ‘While the film's story is told in flashback, it is certainly a look forward, into the future, for its director.’
    • ‘The film unfolds in flashback and ends where it began.’
    • ‘The film is told in flashback and is set between 1940 and 1944.’
    • ‘The film works in flashback, filling in the details of the trial and the events leading up to the verdicts.’
    • ‘In the film, the story's narrated through flashbacks, motivated by Stefan's reading the letter before the duel.’
    • ‘It's also a clever way to integrate flashbacks into the main story, effortlessly making them obvious to the audience.’
    • ‘The story is told in flashback as Will and his pregnant French wife Josephine recall the stories his father had told him all his life.’
    • ‘The movie begins at the end, telling most of the story in flashback.’
    • ‘Much of the story is told in flashback, a technique that can be annoying, because it interrupts the flow of the narrative.’
    • ‘One option we talked about was framing the story itself in flashback with a narrator.’
    • ‘In a series of flashbacks, the film dramatizes the unfortunate consequences of this belief system.’
    • ‘In prison, she tells her story, and the rest of the film proceeds in flashback.’
    • ‘In a series of scattergun flashbacks, the story of their affair emerges.’
    • ‘The film's structure is unusual - the story is presented as a series of narrated flashbacks that are often disconnected.’
    • ‘This is the story of their reunion, interspersed with romantically filmed speechless flashbacks.’
    • ‘The story is intercut with flashbacks to earlier summers, when the sun shone and everything in the garden was lovely.’
    • ‘It is never a good sign when a film is told in flashbacks and the same actors are playing the same roles, back and forth.’
    • ‘He tells his stories in a series of flashbacks, mixed in with ‘present-day’ scenes.’
    1. 1.1A disturbing sudden vivid memory of an event in the past, typically as the result of psychological trauma or taking LSD.
      • ‘The disorder is thus characterised by involuntary, persistent remembering or reliving the traumatic event in flashbacks, vivid memories, and recurrent dreams.’
      • ‘If you have PTSD, you may have vivid nightmares, flashbacks, and bad memories.’
      • ‘Ordinary events can serve as reminders of the trauma and trigger flashbacks or intrusive images.’
      • ‘About two years ago, Julie began to suffer long periods of depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, suffering with flashbacks of past events.’
      • ‘In severe cases, this is known as post-traumatic stress disorder, a syndrome characterized by vivid flashbacks in which the person relives the event in painful detail.’
      • ‘They avoid situations which may trigger memories and flashbacks.’
      • ‘A flashback is a sudden, vivid memory of a bad trip and can be very frightening, sometimes causing mental health problems.’
      • ‘Symptoms to watch for include intrusive memory loss, reliving trauma, flashbacks and becoming hyper-vigilant or fearful.’
      • ‘I have no recollection of my past memories, except periodic flashbacks of my previous life.’
      • ‘The drinking continued during his disembarkation leave; and he says that by that stage he was experiencing numerous flashbacks to the traumatic events that he had witnessed.’
      • ‘The symptoms that responded to treatment were insomnia, nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety and depressed mood.’
      • ‘Ten days ago, I had a sudden flashback to a previously forgotten childhood memory, involving the horrific and violent demise of my favourite teddy bear.’
      • ‘He hadn't had any more memory lapses or flashbacks, but the hospital's resident psychiatrist wanted to see him on a weekly basis.’
      • ‘There is typically some memory loss and flashbacks may occur where the victim remembers engaging in involuntary behaviour.’
      • ‘Still other patients may experience mixed obsessive recollections with flashbacks and, at times, auditory and visual hallucinations.’
      • ‘Some people who have taken the hallucinogen LSD experience flashbacks for the rest of their lives.’
      • ‘Dr. Terr suggests that adults who have experienced trauma tend to deny their feelings and have interruptive flashbacks.’
      • ‘This event triggers flashbacks of his boyhood in Jerusalem during 1938, when British troopers searched his family home.’
      • ‘You have flashbacks of it and memories but at the same time you don't want to think about what might have been.’
      • ‘Brent was witnessing it amongst his own men - nightmares, flashbacks, and sudden inabilities to perform simple tasks.’
  • 2A flame moving rapidly back through a combustible vapour.

    ‘cooling the area prevented a flashback’
    • ‘The explosion is being blamed on a phenomenon called flashback, where the flame burns too quickly for the gas flowing inside the boiler, so is sucked back to the gas supply, causing the explosion.’