What does the idiom "in a flash" mean?

The expression in a flash is one of the idioms that often finds a place in our literature and enriches our language. However, its meaning is not fully understood, so it is sometimes used in the wrong situations. Please review the explanation carefully for the correct use of the in a flash idiom.

Meaning of "in a flash"


The phrase 'in a flash' is an idiom used to describe something that happens very quickly. This phrase emphasizes the speed in which something is done, often implying a single moment or instance of time. It is used to convey a sense of urgency, while still being short and easy to say.


The phrase 'in a flash' is a relatively modern idiom that is thought to have originated in the late 1800s. It is believed to have been inspired by the idiom 'in a trice', which was in use as early as the mid-1700s. 'In a trice' means 'in a single moment', or 'in the blink of an eye', and likely evolved into 'in a flash' over time.


This phrase is most commonly used in informal conversation, and is often used in situations where speed is crucial. It can be used to describe a variety of situations, from completing a task quickly, to making a decision in an instant. It can also be used jokingly to describe something that happened very unexpectedly or quickly. Additionally, it can be used to express surprise or excitement in response to something that happened quickly.

Example Sentences

  • I finished the project in a flash!
  • Just like that, he made his decision in a flash.
  • I was running late, but managed to get ready in a flash.
  • He ate the whole pizza in a flash - it was gone in seconds!

The meanings of the words in the "in a flash" idiom

Idioms with similar meaning

"Don't judge a book by its cover" is an English idiom that means you shouldn't make assumptions about someone or something based solely on its appearance. In Japanese, the similar idiom is "Hana yori dango," which translates to "Dumplings rather than flowers." This idiom means that substance is more important than appearance.


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