flashback

[flash-bak]
noun
1.
a device in the narrative of a motion picture, novel, etc., by which an event or scene taking place before the present time in the narrative is inserted into the chronological structure of the work.
2.
an event or scene so inserted.
3.
Also called flashback hallucinosis. Psychiatry.
a.
the spontaneous recurrence of visual hallucinations or other effects of a drug, as LSD, long after the use of the drug has been discontinued.
b.
recurrent and abnormally vivid recollection of a traumatic experience, as a battle, sometimes accompanied by hallucinations.

Origin:
1910–15; 1965–70 for def 3; noun use of verb phrase flash back

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World English Dictionary
flashback (ˈflæʃˌbæk)
 
n
1.  a transition in a novel, film, etc, to an earlier scene or event
 
vb
2.  (intr, adverb) to return in a novel, film, etc, to a past event

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

flashback
1903, in reference to fires in engines or furnaces, from flash + back (adj.). Movie plot device sense is from 1916. The hallucinogenic drug sense is attested in psychological literature from 1970, which means probably hippies were using it a few years before.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

flashback flash·back (flāsh'bāk')
n.

  1. An unexpected recurrence of the effects of a hallucinogenic drug long after its original use.

  2. A recurring, intensely vivid mental image of a past traumatic experience.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

flashback

in motion pictures and literature, narrative technique of interrupting the chronological sequence of events to interject events of earlier occurrence. The earlier events often take the form of reminiscence. The flashback technique is as old as Western literature. In the Odyssey, most of the adventures that befell Odysseus on his journey home from Troy are told in flashback by Odysseus when he is at the court of the Phaeacians.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Most of these training sessions are viewed in flashback.
There was a long silence-an unwelcome flashback, perhaps.
The story, despite a confusing flashback structure, is coherent.
By now, mentioning that the episode opens with a flashback is simply redundant.
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