Use the word "flash" for things that are fast or things that produce light.

In these examples, "flash" means "fast."

  • They finished their work in a flash.
  • Three hours of playing football went by in a flash. It was so fun!
  • Irene’s life flashed before her eyes as the plane descended towards the water, but at the last minute the pilot was able to regain control of the plane.
  • A flash flood wiped out the homes that were near the creek.
  • A flash mob* appeared in a public square and performed Ode to Joy.


In these examples, "flash" is a type of light or an action involving a light.

  • The flashing red light means that you have to stop at the intersection.
  • The camera that the photographer is using has a built in flash.
  • Old cameras used to have disposable flash attachments.
  • A flash of lightning was soon followed by thunder.
  • When the power went out, we all searched for our flashlights.

flashlight flashlight

Sometimes the word "flash" means to show:

  • It’s not a good idea to flash your money around. Someone might rob you.
  • The politician walking in the parade flashed two fingers for "victory."
  • The police quickly arrested a man who was flashing shoppers in the shopping mall. (flash: to show oneself without clothes)

The word "flashy" is an adjective. This is used to describe people or objects that are shiny or gaudy*:

  • That woman always wears a lot of flashy jewelry.
  • Bob bought a flashy new Mercedes.
  • Flashy fashions are popular among teenagers.

*flash mob: A group of people plan a public performance or event or stunt to the surprise of other people who are in that place. Flash mobs are usually fun and very entertaining.

*gaudy: excessive; overly bright or colorful

Click here to learn more words.

December 6, 2013