Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

flash in the pan

flash in the pan

Meaning

  • something that is promising in the beginning but fizzles out later
  • something that shows potential initially, but fails to deliver in the end
  • a sudden but brief success which is not repeated
  • something that happens for a short time and is not repeated
  • a showy beginning followed by a disappointing failure

Example Sentences

  1. His initial good performances were a mere flash in the pan. Nowadays, he delivers only mediocre work.
  2. The success of his second book turned out to be a flash in the pan. All his other books have been junked by all and termed as trash.
  3. This new wave of entrepreneurship is not just a flash in the pan. More and more people are quitting their day jobs in order to start their own ventures.
  4. He showed great promise during his first few games, but it turned out to be a flash in the pan.
  5. The invention turned out to be a flash in the pan and is no longer in demand.

Origin
The phrase originates from flintlock muskets, which had a small pan to hold a charge of gunpowder. This charge was used to ignite the main charge when the musket was fired. When an attempt to fire the musket resulted in the gunpowder flaring up without the bullet being fired, it was called a flash in the pan.

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