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Flash in the Pan

Definition of the noun flash in the pan

What does flash in the pan mean as a name of something?


  1. someone who enjoys transient success but then fails

Alternative definition of the noun flash in the pan


  1. [idiomatic] A transient occurrence with no long-term effect.
  2. [idiomatic] A career notable for early success not followed by significant accomplishment.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Flash in the Pan

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Google previewAllen's Dictionary of English Phrases (2008)

by Robert Allen

a flash in the pan a sudden and short-lived success. The phrase alludes to the firing of the gunpowder in the 'pan' (small hollow) of a musket: on occasions ...

Google previewDictionary of Word Origins (1995)

A History of the Words, Expressions, and Clichés We Use by Jordan Almond

FLASH IN THE PAN FLESHPOTS FLIBBERTIGIBBET FLIVVER tempts to act like a woman but is not yet one. The term is very old and at first was applied only to girls too young to conceive. Flash in the Pan. How did we get the expression ...

Google previewThe Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words (2008)

by Diagram Group

flash in the pan Something that is initially successful or promising but ...

Google previewThe American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, Second Edition (2013)

by Christine Ammer

flash in the pan An effort or person that ...

Google previewDictionary of Phrase and Fable (1898)

Giving the Derivation, Source, Or Origin of Common Phrases, Allusions, and Words that Have a Tale to Tell by Ebenezer Cobham Brewer

A mere flash in the pan. All sound and fury, signifying nothing; like the attempt to discharge a gun that ends with a flash in the lock-pan, the gun itself “hanging fire. ” Flash Men and Flash Notes. Between Buxton, Leek, and Macclesfield is a wild ...

Google previewA dictionary in Hindee and English (1846)

compiled from approved authorities by Joseph T. Thompson

Runjuk oomu, To flash in the pan (priming). Runjuk oorana, v. a. To burn priming, to flash in the pan. Hunjuk-dan, s. m. Priming pan or fire-pan. liwyu* pilana, v. a. To prime. <3M run-jun, *. m. Colouring, dyeing, painting, &c. ; affecting the heart, ...

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Quotes about Flash in the Pan

I thought it was all a flash in the pan. It wasn't until Broadway came along that I felt I had really made it. (Julie Andrews)
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