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Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A literary or cinematic device in which an earlier event is inserted into the normal chronological order of a narrative.
  • n. The episode or scene depicted by means of this device.
  • n. An unexpected recurrence of the effects of a hallucinogenic drug long after its original use.
  • n. Psychology A recurring, intensely vivid mental image of a past traumatic experience: "Another study shows that women who served in Vietnam still struggle with depression, anxiety, and painful flashbacks from the war” ( New York Times).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a dramatic device in which an earlier event is inserted into the normal chronological flow of a narrative
  • n. a vivid mental image of a past trauma, especially one that recurs
  • n. a similar recurrence of the effects of a hallucinogenic drug

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a transition (in literary or theatrical works or films) to an earlier event or scene; also, the scene thus introduced.
  • n. An unusually vivid recollection of a prior experience, often one that is traumatic, such as scenes from combat or a criminal assault, or induced by hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD; when accompanied by hallucinations it is called flashback hallucinosis.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. return in time
  • n. an unexpected but vivid recurrence of a past experience (especially a recurrence of the effects of an hallucinogenic drug taken much earlier)
  • n. a transition (in literary or theatrical works or films) to an earlier event or scene that interrupts the normal chronological development of the story

Etymologies

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