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

  • n. A glass bulb filled with finely shredded aluminum or magnesium foil that is ignited by electricity to produce a short-duration high-intensity light flash for taking photographs. Also called photoflash.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A glass bulb, filled with finely shredded magnesium, that emitted a short, intense flash of light when ignited by electricity; could be used only once

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a lamp for providing intense momentary light to take a photograph.

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

  • n. a lamp for providing momentary light to take a photograph
  • n. a lamp for providing momentary light to take a photograph


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Goliath is a horrific giant cyclops; the drowning sinners trying to claw their way onto Noah's Ark are caught in flashbulb moments of terror and agony; Saul's army rends the raw meat of their slaughter as they try to avoid starvation; the mutilated corpses of Baanah and Rechab dangle from nooses in Hebron; the boiled heads of donkeys emerge from the cooking pot as starving Israelites look on with hungry eyes; Daniel's horned beast crushes a mountain of screaming men and women as it stalks the land; and in Revelations, the rains of fire, floods and famine lay waste to cities as horribly burned famine victims scream and claw at their flesh.

    Boing Boing

  • Flashbangs produced an incredibly bright light—approximately two million candela, which even with eyes closed would cause a bleaching of the rhodopsin, the visual purple in the eye, creating the spots and temporary blindness most people have experienced and referred to as the flashbulb effect.

    State of the Union

  • He added that so-called flashbulb memory of the kind that I had can be incredibly vivid and still be very wrong.


  • It's funny that the "fake news" program The Daily Show may edit its interviews to make the interviewee look silly, but in their news portion they always add the "flashbulb" effect between cuts to show that something's been edited out.

    CBS Sidesteps Questions About Editing Of McCain Interview

  • Even memories of highly emotionally charged events - so-called "flashbulb" memories - are just as likely to suffer this distortion.

    Planet Atheism

  • Don't fret though, Phil's been allowed back into the 'reality-based community' fold today with his latest tweet: "Also, that 'flashbulb' I saw in Draco was almost certainly an

    TDG - Science, Magick, Myth and History

  • What the police did remember to do was take my mug shot, and I faced my first flashbulb moment within minutes of leaving the cell.

    Fallin’ Up

  • I had to finish my last novel and wait two weeks before I suddenly had my flashbulb moment of what the story had been about all along.

    Writer Unboxed » Blog Archive » Plot, Mood and Character

  • This is how experts used to think about "flashbulb memories", so‑called because of their remarkable vividness.

    The science behind memory glitches

  • It was already fading, and there was nothing to gauge its distance against; it could have been a flashbulb a few meters away, or a supernova a few dozen light-years off.

    Star Trek The Next Generation®


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