flash in the pan

flash in the pan
Flash Flash (fl[a^]sh), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Flashed} (fl[a^]sht); p. pr. & vb. n. {Flashing}.] [Cf. OE. flaskien, vlaskien to pour, sprinkle, dial. Sw. flasa to blaze, E. flush, flare.] 1. To burst or break forth with a sudden and transient flood of flame and light; as, the lighting flashes vividly; the powder flashed. [1913 Webster]

2. To break forth, as a sudden flood of light; to burst instantly and brightly on the sight; to show a momentary brilliancy; to come or pass like a flash. [1913 Webster]

Names which have flashed and thundered as the watch words of unnumbered struggles. --Talfourd. [1913 Webster]

The object is made to flash upon the eye of the mind. --M. Arnold. [1913 Webster]

A thought flashed through me, which I clothed in act. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

3. To burst forth like a sudden flame; to break out violently; to rush hastily. [1913 Webster]

Every hour He flashes into one gross crime or other. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{flash in the pan}, a failure or a poor performance, especially after a normal or auspicious start; also, a person whose initial performance appears augur success but who fails to achieve anything notable. From 4th {pan}, n., sense 3 -- part of a flintlock. Occasionally, the powder in the pan of a flintlock would flash without conveying the fire to the charge, and the ball would fail to be discharged. Thus, a good or even spectacular beginning that eventually achieves little came to be called a flash in the pan.

{To flash in the pan}, to fail of success, especially after a normal or auspicious start. [Colloq.] See under {Flash}, a burst of light. --Bartlett. [1913 Webster +PJC]

Syn: {Flash}, {Glitter}, {Gleam}, {Glisten}, {Glister}.

Usage: Flash differs from glitter and gleam, denoting a flood or wide extent of light. The latter words may express the issuing of light from a small object, or from a pencil of rays. Flash differs from other words, also, in denoting suddenness of appearance and disappearance. Flashing differs from exploding or disploding in not being accompanied with a loud report. To glisten, or glister, is to shine with a soft and fitful luster, as eyes suffused with tears, or flowers wet with dew. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Flash and the Pan — was an Australian New Wave group (essentially an ongoing studio project) formed in the late 1970s by Harry Vanda and George Young, both former members of the Easybeats. George Young is also an older brother to Angus Young and Malcolm Young of… …   Wikipedia

  • Flash And The Pan — war eine australische Band, die im Kern auf The Easybeats zurückging. Die beiden hauptsächlichen Songschreiber der Easybeats, George Young und Harry Vanda, blieben nach dem Ende der Band 1969 zusammen, um weiter als Team zu arbeiten. Sie wurden… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Flash and the Pan — war eine australische Band, die im Kern auf The Easybeats zurückging. Die beiden hauptsächlichen Songschreiber der Easybeats, George Young und Harry Vanda, blieben nach dem Ende der Band 1969 zusammen, um weiter als Team zu arbeiten. Sie wurden… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Flash in the pan — Flash Flash, n.; pl. {Flashes}. 1. A sudden burst of light; a flood of light instantaneously appearing and disappearing; a momentary blaze; as, a flash of lightning. [1913 Webster] 2. A sudden and brilliant burst, as of wit or genius; a momentary …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Flash in the pan — Pan Pan, n. [OE. panne, AS. panne; cf. D. pan, G. pfanne, OHG. pfanna, Icel., Sw., LL., & Ir. panna, of uncertain origin; cf. L. patina, E. paten.] 1. A shallow, open dish or vessel, usually of metal, employed for many domestic uses, as for… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • flash in the pan — If something is a flash in the pan, it is very noticeable but doesn t last long, like most singers, who are very successful for a while, then forgotten …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • flash in the pan — ► flash in the pan a sudden but brief success. [ORIGIN: with allusion to the priming of a firearm, the flash arising from an explosion of gunpowder within the lock.] Main Entry: ↑flash …   English terms dictionary

  • Flash and the Pan — est un groupe de musique australien fondé à la fin des années 1970. Il est connu entre autres pour la chanson Midnight Man sortie au milieu des années 1980. Portail de l’Australie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • flash in the pan — noun someone who enjoys transient success but then fails • Hypernyms: ↑failure, ↑loser, ↑nonstarter, ↑unsuccessful person * * * 1. : the firing of the priming in the pan of a flintlock musket without discharging the piece 2 …   Useful english dictionary

  • flash in the pan — {n. phr.}, {slang} A person or thing that starts out well but does not continue. * /The new quarterback was a flash in the pan./ * /Mary got 100 on the first test in arithmetic but it was just a flash in the pan because she failed in arithmetic./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

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