1. A Project, person etc that enjoys only short lived success.
2. Something which disappoints by failing to deliver anything of value, despite a showy beginning
Origin
This originally had a literal meaning, i.e. a real flash in a real pan. Muskets used to have small pans to hold the gunpowder charge. An attempt to fire the musket in which the gunpowder flared up without firing a bullet would be called a 'flash in the pan'.
origin, The term is known since the late 17th century. Elkanah Settle, in Reflections on several of Mr. Dryden's plays 1687, had this to say:
"although the group had a number one hit, it was only a one hit wonder making them a flash in the pan."

"If Cannons were so well bred in his Metaphor as only to flash in the Pan, I dare lay an even wager that Mr. Dryden durst venture to Sea."
by johnny english2 January 16, 2007

Free Daily Email

Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!

Emails are sent from daily@urbandictionary.com. We'll never spam you.

×