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’
    • ‘In a series of scattergun flashbacks, the story of their affair emerges.’
    • ‘In a series of flashbacks, the film dramatizes the unfortunate consequences of this belief system.’
    • ‘The film works in flashback, filling in the details of the trial and the events leading up to the verdicts.’
    • ‘The film unfolds in flashback and ends where it began.’
    • ‘The movie begins at the end, telling most of the story in flashback.’
    • ‘The story is narrated in flashback by Louis, in a letter written from his prison cell.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In prison, she tells her story, and the rest of the film proceeds in flashback.’
    • ‘The film's structure is unusual - the story is presented as a series of narrated flashbacks that are often disconnected.’
    • ‘Much of the story is told in flashback, a technique that can be annoying, because it interrupts the flow of the narrative.’
    • ‘The film is told in flashback and is set between 1940 and 1944.’
    • ‘It's also a clever way to integrate flashbacks into the main story, effortlessly making them obvious to the audience.’
    • ‘He tells his stories in a series of flashbacks, mixed in with ‘present-day’ scenes.’
    • ‘One option we talked about was framing the story itself in flashback with a narrator.’
    • ‘The story is intercut with flashbacks to earlier summers, when the sun shone and everything in the garden was lovely.’
    • ‘While the film's story is told in flashback, it is certainly a look forward, into the future, for its director.’
    • ‘The talk show framing device allows Ricky (hidden in the shadows) to narrate his story in flashback.’
    • ‘In the film, the story's narrated through flashbacks, motivated by Stefan's reading the letter before the duel.’
    • ‘This is the story of their reunion, interspersed with romantically filmed speechless flashbacks.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1A disturbing sudden vivid memory of an event in the past, typically as the result of psychological trauma or taking LSD.
      • ‘A flashback is a sudden, vivid memory of a bad trip and can be very frightening, sometimes causing mental health problems.’
      • ‘There is typically some memory loss and flashbacks may occur where the victim remembers engaging in involuntary behaviour.’
      • ‘Dr. Terr suggests that adults who have experienced trauma tend to deny their feelings and have interruptive flashbacks.’
      • ‘If you have PTSD, you may have vivid nightmares, flashbacks, and bad memories.’
      • ‘About two years ago, Julie began to suffer long periods of depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, suffering with flashbacks of past events.’
      • ‘Some people who have taken the hallucinogen LSD experience flashbacks for the rest of their lives.’
      • ‘I have no recollection of my past memories, except periodic flashbacks of my previous life.’
      • ‘He hadn't had any more memory lapses or flashbacks, but the hospital's resident psychiatrist wanted to see him on a weekly basis.’
      • ‘Brent was witnessing it amongst his own men - nightmares, flashbacks, and sudden inabilities to perform simple tasks.’
      • ‘You have flashbacks of it and memories but at the same time you don't want to think about what might have been.’
      • ‘The disorder is thus characterised by involuntary, persistent remembering or reliving the traumatic event in flashbacks, vivid memories, and recurrent dreams.’
      • ‘This event triggers flashbacks of his boyhood in Jerusalem during 1938, when British troopers searched his family home.’
      • ‘The symptoms that responded to treatment were insomnia, nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety and depressed mood.’
      • ‘Ordinary events can serve as reminders of the trauma and trigger flashbacks or intrusive images.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Still other patients may experience mixed obsessive recollections with flashbacks and, at times, auditory and visual hallucinations.’
      • ‘Symptoms to watch for include intrusive memory loss, reliving trauma, flashbacks and becoming hyper-vigilant or fearful.’
      • ‘They avoid situations which may trigger memories and flashbacks.’
  • 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.’