Main definitions of flag in English

: flag1flag2flag3flag4

flag1

noun

  • 1A piece of cloth or similar material, typically oblong or square, attachable by one edge to a pole or rope and used as the symbol or emblem of a country or institution or as a decoration during public festivities:

    ‘the American flag’
    • ‘Prior to the mayor's edict, it was expected that the banner would fly on the same pole as the US flag along with a banner commemorating American prisoners of war.’
    • ‘All public buildings display the flag, as do many private homes.’
    • ‘He stands at the top of the incline beside the Canadian flag, grasping the rope and displaying great physical strength as well as moral fortitude.’
    • ‘As I said, even in my day they used to have the flags just outside the public schools, and presumably still do.’
    • ‘I have seen no reluctance on behalf of the Scottish and Welsh parts of this country to fly their national flags on the designated patron saint's day.’
    • ‘Across the country, flags over public buildings and royal residences were flying at half-mast.’
    • ‘Obviously corporates will be allowed to fly their banners and flags to mark off their piece of the battleground.’
    • ‘The flag is a symbol of indigenous and campesino movements.’
    • ‘It's the lead article in the music section, spread out over a full page with no adverts, with little national flags for each country, and even the bookies' odds for each song mentioned.’
    • ‘So he reluctantly changed it for one I had made for his birthday which shows the British and Phillipine flags conjoined, their poles placed together as a symbol of the friendship between our two countries.’
    • ‘If a student wears the national flag of his own country he will be suspended or expelled from school.’
    • ‘A three-judge panel entered the courtroom and sat beneath its only decorations, a Peruvian flag and a crucifix.’
    • ‘Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.’
    • ‘Near the bottom, he wiped his brow before tying the other end of the rope to an American flag.’
    • ‘Attempts to supplant the earlier symbolism, including the flag and motto, were popularly rejected.’
    • ‘We used the Olympic flag to march in the opening ceremony.’
    • ‘Scotland's parliament may be a year behind schedule and massively overspent, but that will not get in the way of creating a new flag for the troubled institution.’
    • ‘Following a death, white banners, flags, and other decorations are put up according to the status of the deceased.’
    • ‘A few years earlier, the magazine had sponsored a largely successful campaign to sell American flags to public schools.’
    • ‘The flag flew from every public building, from every municipal flagpole, and from every structure of consequence in the land.’
    banner, standard, ensign, pennant, pennon, banderole, streamer, jack
    bunting
    colours
    symbol, emblem, representation, figure, image
    pendant
    burgee
    vexillum
    gonfalon, guidon, labarum
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Used in reference to one's home country or its system of beliefs and values:
      ‘he pledged allegiance to the flag’
      • ‘When I was young, I was puzzled as to why we would pledge allegiance to a flag.’
      • ‘The deeply rooted victim syndrome has been manipulated over the past year by the mainstream media in order to rally the public around the flag.’
      • ‘For example he will be competing in his third Olympics under three different flags.’
      • ‘They think it's inappropriate to mix government and God in the way it now exists in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.’
      • ‘The press is a bit misinformed: it's a young country of immigrants, of Poles and Germans who happen to live there and pledge allegiance to the flag.’
      • ‘Do we want to live separately under separate flags only occasionally mixing with each other in ordinary every day events?’
      • ‘One reason why oaths are more common in America may be that American children are brought up to swear their allegiance to the flag, so the concept of affirming their beliefs is less alien than to British students.’
      • ‘This small shareholder asked if he and the board members would be willing to rise and pledge allegiance to the flag?’
    2. 1.2 The ensign carried by a flagship as an emblem of an admiral's rank:
      ‘Hawke first hoisted his flag at Spithead’
      • ‘The early ensigns were striped flags, some in the green and white of the Tudor Royal Livery colours, some red and white, some in other livery colours.’
      • ‘The title went to Her Majesty, and with it yet another flag - the Admiralty flag of a gold anchor on red.’
      • ‘With Admiral Togo flying his flag in the British-built battleship Mikasa, a strong naval force moved into position.’
      • ‘Admiral Jellicoe flew his flag in the battleship HMS Iron Duke at the Battle of Jutland in 1916.’
      • ‘Leading the Japanese Fleet was Admiral Heihachiro Togo, who flew his flag in the battleship Mikasa.’
      • ‘He has commanded in every rank from lieutenant to vice admiral, and has flown his flag in all three of the Navy's aircraft carriers.’
  • 2A small piece of cloth attached at one edge to a pole and used as a marker or signal in various sports:

    ‘the flag's up’
    • ‘They screamed for an offside flag which never came.’
    • ‘He is played through one-on-one, unaware the linesman has his flag up for offside.’
    • ‘He is released on the right and Saudi fans start to get excited but the linesman quickly raises his flag to signal off-side.’
    • ‘If the team representative does not display the green flag to signal the start of a qualification attempt, the car will not be charged with an attempt and must return to the pit lane.’
    • ‘He was just about to put the ball into the empty net when a flag was raised indicating handball.’
    • ‘Did you practice waving the green flag as the honorary starter for the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway.’
    • ‘The Paraguayans race off to celebrate what would have been the 2,000th goal in a World Cup finals… until the flag goes up a good 30 seconds late.’
    • ‘The guy holding the flag pulled it down signaling goal.’
    • ‘He had his flag up for offside, although nobody could have been interfering with play to any significant degree!’
    • ‘The forward tried to rectify matters by turning and drilling the ball over the line, but by then the flag had been raised, penalising him for straying offside.’
    • ‘This flag indicates that the racing event is over or concluded.’
    • ‘Davison made a blinding reaction save from Abbey after 79 minutes but the flag was up for offside against the striker.’
    • ‘He looked a certain scorer at the flag, to ensure the Halifax outfit were nilled.’
    • ‘When the home keeper gathered the ball on the edge of his area the assistant referee vigorously waved his flag, signalling that his hands were outside.’
    • ‘No, just an offside flag - which looked mighty harsh on the replay.’
    • ‘In the ensuing confusion, he managed to win the race following a wrong flag signal by a panicked marshal.’
    • ‘The striker had spent most of his evening failing to dodge the offside flag.’
    1. 2.1 A drawing or symbol resembling a flag, used as a marker:
      ‘golf courses are indicated by a numbered flag on the map’
      • ‘She had taken a world map, stuck in flags where she had already been, and pinned in all the places she wanted to go.’
      • ‘My stats package thoughtfully puts a national flag next to each country domain as it pops up on the server so it was easy to spot one I did not recognize.’
    2. 2.2 A small paper badge given to people who donate to a charity appeal in the street.
      • ‘My own tests have been conducted at supermarkets while I have been selling flags for a charity.’
    3. 2.3 A mechanism that can be raised to indicate that a taxi is for hire.
  • 3Computing
    A variable used to indicate a particular property of the data in a record.

    • ‘This will let you watch the execution of a program to determine any gaps, and is especially useful if used in conjunction with a debug flag.’
    • ‘When reading a modified record one should check the attribute flag to see if this record needs to be deleted.’
    • ‘Thereby, the flag is recorded on the effective data area.’
    • ‘Don't ever delete a record - mark them for deletion with a flag, and then archive them periodically.’
    • ‘During event registration, specific flags indicate whether a handler is to be executed inside a process.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Mark (an item) for attention or treatment in a specified way:

    ‘the spellcheck program flags any words that are not in its dictionary’
    • ‘Another very nice feature are the flags that allow you to flag emails that need attention so that the days of marking emails as ‘unread’ are gone too.’
    • ‘A match was found and the program flagged the info and forwarded it to the Early Warning sub-system.’
    • ‘Using software to prepare bids heads off mistakes because the program takes care of calculations and will flag missed entries.’
    • ‘The danger tags employees were supposed to use to flag valves, indicating their open status, were rarely used.’
    • ‘Use folders or labels to flag messages for follow-up action.’
    • ‘This comes in handy if you want to ensure that potentially offensive words are flagged as misspellings.’
    • ‘Additionally, the strategy mapping instruction required flagging the missing element in the problem with a question mark.’
    • ‘For instance, the program will flag quotations and other matching text that have been adequately sourced.’
    • ‘The program flags possible tax deductions and includes a flexible spending calculator.’
    • ‘We used the spell checker to flag misspellings or nonstandard abbreviations or military/vendor terminology.’
    • ‘The only thing it lets me do with a button is spell check, and the only word it's ever flagged for me as misspelled was not misspelled.’
    • ‘It is able to authenticate the caller's identity, or to flag possible impostors, with a high degree of accuracy.’
    • ‘One of the recommendations was that deaths should be monitored by flagging the health records of residents.’
    • ‘Both programs allow you to see what it was that caused them to flag a particular piece of email as spam.’
    • ‘The system also flags up problem pupils more quickly.’
    • ‘It wasn't very good anyway, being based, it seems, on an American kindergarten dictionary and thus any word over 2 syllables or seven letters was automatically flagged.’
    indicate, identify, pick out, point out
    mark, mark out, label, tab, tag, tick
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Draw attention to:
      ‘cancer was flagged up as a priority area for research’
      • ‘The Central Bank of Russia auditors, reviewing the deals, believed they were highly suspicious and should have been flagged up to authorities.’
      • ‘The US economy is a concern, as are the complications of the bond markets and pension deficits (which were flagged up in this column last month) along with rising fuel costs.’
      • ‘A security tape would be held and if any incidents came to light they would be flagged up.’
      • ‘That ‘something’ may have been flagged up by the controversy and, no matter who was in the wrong there, I think it pointed ominously to a new battleground behind the scenes.’
      • ‘If our goal is to flag an issue that nobody is paying attention to.’
      • ‘And, as I said, communication was one of the points which was flagged up earlier; people were not being told what was happening.’
      • ‘And it's not the only thing that be flagged up as a hazard to well-being, alerting people to the perils in store if they indulge.’
      • ‘He said the issue had been flagged up at previous meetings and should not come as a surprise to staff.’
      • ‘Poor facilities for refuse storage, a loss of outlook for the houses opposite and loss of privacy have also been flagged up in residents' letters of objection.’
      • ‘No surprise there - this has been flagged up for some time.’
      • ‘The problems of this sector have been flagged up for some time.’
      • ‘One of the things that was flagged up was that you would need to bring in a bus stop and make sure that buses were frequent and took you everywhere in town, the shops, GPs or sports areas.’
      • ‘In recent years, the 1980s have been flagged up as the decade of material aspiration.’
      • ‘Hampton, it turns out, had recently flagged its mass communications program for upgrading.’
      • ‘If it was a matter that was of considerable concern to this defendant local authority, then one would have expected the issue to have been flagged up at an early stage, certainly before the hearing.’
      • ‘What won't be flagged up quite so obviously is the fact that ice cream still supplies a substantial number of calories, and if you eat too much of it, you will put on weight.’
      • ‘The ‘spiritual dimension’ of the school, focusing mainly on classrooms and learning resources, was also flagged up as an area in need of improvement.’
      • ‘Improving the hall website, producing a detailed information pack and intense local advertising have been flagged up as key areas to act on.’
      • ‘The theme of ‘passive drinking’ was flagged up early on.’
      • ‘‘Homelessness needs in north Wiltshire haven't been flagged up nearly enough,’ she said.’
  • 2flag someone/thing downSignal to a vehicle or driver to stop, especially by waving one's arm:

    ‘she flagged down a police patrol car’
    • ‘Hackney carriage drivers are only allowed to wait for trade in designated ranks but they can be flagged down for journeys.’
    • ‘I think for a moment of flagging the cab down anyway and having the driver wait while I retrieve money from my hotel room.’
    • ‘The driver's arm was out the window, waving frantically, apparently flagging us down.’
    • ‘It stops when you flag it down, but the driver demurs with the same explanation, and kindly informs you that a bus back to town will be along in an hour.’
    • ‘A hackney carriage plate allows drivers to pick up passengers who flag them down in the street or from ranks in the city.’
    • ‘A Hackney license enables taxi drivers to pick up fares on the street as and when they are flagged down, while private hire drivers rely on bookings.’
    • ‘Eventually another driver flagged her down and rescued the cat from the roof of her car.’
    • ‘I would also remind people, please do not stop for any vehicles that try to flag you down, unless clearly marked as a police vehicle.’
    • ‘The Ford flipped into the air and landed on its roof after its driver raced away when a police patrol tried to flag it down.’
    • ‘The woman was driving alone early in the morning when she was flagged down by another motorist.’
    • ‘Police have also repeated their request that members of the public do not approach the asylum seekers or stop their cars if they are flagged down.’
    • ‘Why would any rational cement mixer driver stop for someone flagging them down?’
    • ‘Matt flagged me down and as I pulled to a stop, he ran over to my side and was about to say something before I put my hand up to gesture him to stop.’
    • ‘Lesson 1: you need to flag a bus down even if you are standing at a bus stop.’
    • ‘Now, the cab, clearly thinking I was about to just flag it down, did not stop.’
    • ‘He flagged the driver down and jogged over to him, shedding his stolen gear as he went.’
    • ‘We tried to flag them down because of the risk but most drivers simply ignored us.’
    • ‘A man was arrested after a bus driver was flagged down at a bus stop on a York estate and threatened with a knife.’
    • ‘In fact, it's illegal for the taxi drivers to pick up anyone trying to flag them down.’
    • ‘Several times I have found that unless someone walking or standing by the roadside flags me down or waves at me chances are I will not see them.’
    hail, wave down, signal to stop, gesture to stop, motion to stop, make a sign to
    stop, halt, summon
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1flag someone/thing off Wave a flag at someone or something as a starting signal:
      ‘the vintage car fiesta will be flagged off by the minister for tourism’
      • ‘From there on the team would proceed to Greece, Italy, France, Spain and Morocco, before reaching the final stop in England, where it was flagged off on August 6.’
      • ‘Besides, a cycle rally was flagged off with an aim of creating awareness among the public on maintaining good health.’
      • ‘Organised by the Southern Army Command, the cycle expedition was flagged off by Maj.’
      • ‘The train services will be flagged off on August 25.’
      • ‘The annual Conference will be flagged off on January 22 for three days.’
      • ‘When the rally was flagged off there were just four students.’
      • ‘The first vehicle will be flagged off by an official of the Hatton National Bank.’
      • ‘The teams had been flagged off about 4 months ago.’
      • ‘According to a press note of army, the rally was flagged off by the two men.’
      • ‘This year, the battle has proved as compelling as any since the 60 cyclists were flagged off on the outskirts of Paris on 1 July 1903.’
      • ‘At 10 a.m., the car rally was flagged off from the park, and the colourful caravan, on its way, attracted people lazing around in their homes.’
      • ‘The next half of the rally will be flagged off by the Prime Minister.’
      • ‘More than 150 of Ireland's top rally cars will be flagged off from the hotel.’
      • ‘The first competitor will be flagged off at 7 p.m. on September 8 and the other competitors will be flagged off at two minute intervals from then onwards.’
    2. 2.2[no object] (of an official) raise a flag to draw the referee's attention to a breach of the rules in soccer, rugby, and other sports:
      ‘the goalkeeper brought down Hendrie and a linesman immediately flagged’
      • ‘The trouble started last Sunday after a 22-8 loss that saw them get flagged for 11 penalties.’
      • ‘But Taylor's anger was not directed at the referee but at the assistant referee, who flagged for the incident.’
      • ‘However things got even more bizarre in the second half when he fell over while going for a high ball and the linesman flagged for a penalty.’
      • ‘Officials are paid to make decisions and he flagged straight away.’
      • ‘He's flagged for offside, even though replays show that he clearly wasn't.’
      • ‘They held firm until an assistant referee flagged for a penalty that defied belief.’
      • ‘His outlook could hardly have been helped by the cancelling of a perfectly good goal just after the quarter-hour, the linesman flagging for offside.’
      • ‘That's when he reaches and gets flagged with ill-timed holding penalties.’
      • ‘The referee's assistant flagged for handball outside the area and had the result been in doubt the keeper might have been sent off.’
      • ‘Even so, they could have been two up when he had the ball in the net only for the linesman to flag for offside.’
      • ‘When the assistant referee refused to flag, the Dutchman angled a low shot across the goalkeeper and inside the far post.’
      • ‘The linesman had flagged to say the deflected shot should have been ruled out for offside but the referee overruled him, and this goal proved to be the turning point.’
      • ‘He nodded the ball into the back of the net, only for the assistant referee to flag for offside.’
      • ‘When the ball did eventually make it into the Aberdeen goal, the assistant referee had flagged for offside.’
      • ‘As it happens, it wouldn't have counted even if Alberto had got it - the linesman had flagged for offside.’
  • 3Provide or decorate with a flag or flags.

    • ‘The day started off with the field committee flagging out the field and preparing dressing rooms and signage.’
    1. 3.1 Register (a vessel) in a particular country, under whose flag it then sails.
      • ‘Specifically, the authorities required U.S. flagged vessels to be U.S.-owned and built and reserved coastal trades for U.S. registered ships.’
      • ‘His shipping fleet has been at the centre of a dispute with the Australian maritime unions over the flagging out of two bulk carriers working the domestic coastal trade.’
      • ‘The government is encouraging shippers to use cheap, foreign flagged and crewed vessels - a move that has ended up in the Federal Court in Melbourne.’
      • ‘But, your Honour, what we submit in relation to the conventions is that here you have a vessel which is flagged, crewed and owned by foreign people and foreign companies.’
      • ‘It had also booked another tanker, the Cypriot flagged Presnya to carry 28,000 tonnes of aviation fuel from Greece to southern Spain.’
      • ‘Occasionally, foreign flagged ships radio asking for directions to get back on course.’
      • ‘Ships of Shame, flagged in tax havens like the Bahamas to evade labour, safety and tax requirements, have been implicated in terrorist threats as well as major pollution scares.’
      • ‘Only about 45 Australian flagged and crewed vessels remain in business.’
      • ‘That is why vessels are required under international law to have flags, and a State by flagging a vessel assumes responsibility with things which occur on that vessel, even when it is in the territorial waters of another State.’
      • ‘Nine foreign fishing vessels, all Indonesian flagged, were apprehended and escorted to Gove by Customs and the Navy, the Senators said.’
      • ‘Only one U.S. flagged vessel will be changing their cruising plans.’
      • ‘‘We had problems with a ship called the Australian Bridge which is flagged in Panama,’ said Matt.’

Phrases

  • fly the flag

    • 1(of a ship) be registered in a particular country and sail under its flag.

      • ‘At the time, all the major cruise lines were incorporated abroad, and every major ship they sailed flew the flag of a country other than the United States.’
      • ‘It was therefore supposed to fly the flag of its nation of registry, i.e. Liberia.’
      • ‘Two ships appeared on the horizon flying the flag that I was taught to be of Spain.’
      • ‘We were told it was a freighter flying the flag of neutral Portugal.’
      • ‘On 12 January 2003, the MV Dorine, a Polish bulk carrier flying the flag of Cyprus, berthed in Bell Bay, Launceston.’
      1. 1.1Represent or demonstrate support for one's country, political party, or organization, especially when one is abroad:
        ‘he will be flying the flag for British fashion on the Paris catwalks’
        • ‘People are afraid, and in waving the flag of pacifism - pacifism synonymous with anti-Americanism - they feel protected.’
        • ‘He missed the chance to wave the flag for all who do not identify with any party and are simply proud to be Irish.’
        • ‘By the same token, the Democratic Party will carry the flag of anti-clericism.’
        • ‘He is waving the flag to show his support for better relations between Canada and the United States.’
        • ‘And cheered on by nearly 38,000 delirious fans the 34-year-old Gloucester born star did a triumphant lap of honour, waving the flag of St George.’
        • ‘With the dust hardly settled, she was off again, flying the flag in the Far East as she reverted to a roving ambassador for the UK.’
        • ‘Devonport frigate HMS Campbeltown has returned home to the West Country after flying the flag and making friends in Russia and the Baltic.’
        • ‘Since these companies are busy waving the flag at the moment, one needs to recall how they described themselves during the past decade, as they dispersed production worldwide and planted their logos in many distant lands.’
        • ‘The 19-year-old was born in New Zealand, but this season he is flying the flag of the land of his forebears, namely Holland.’
        • ‘Great Britain had a realistic chance of the top prize in the men's under-60 kg judo, with England's Commonwealth champion Craig Fallon flying the flag.’
  • put the flags (or flag) out

    • Celebrate:

      ‘temperatures are increasing again—that's why we're putting out the flags’
      • ‘When it is all complete perhaps we will put the flags out in honour of the Council and have an opening day.’
      • ‘Oh, yes, we did put the flags out for the Coronation of Elizabeth II - but that wasn't a political show, was it, so it doesn't count.’
      • ‘In fact, it was Monday afternoon before we could really put the flags out.’
      • ‘The other one is in prison and me and his mam put the flags out when that happened because he's safe, he's alive and he's warm.’
  • show the flag

    • (of a naval vessel) make an official visit to a foreign port, especially as a show of strength.

      • ‘Following a season in Europe, she crossed the Atlantic to New York and other East Coast ports to show the flag.’
      • ‘Deterrence, a centerpiece of Cold War diplomacy, encompasses maintaining credible forces and showing the flag at appropriate locations to deter an enemy's aggression.’
      • ‘In the future the Navy, in keeping with objectives set before it, will be more active in showing the flag and protecting Russian interests in politically, strategically and operationally important regions of the World Ocean.’
      • ‘The SA Navy paid a visit to the city to show the flag.’
      • ‘This would hamper diplomatic efforts, reduce the U.S. Navy's ability to show the flag, and complicate logistics and supply for forward-deployed forces.’
      • ‘The navy provided coastal defense and ‘showed the flag ‘in areas such as the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific.’
      • ‘Normally, the United States uses only one or at the most two carrier strike groups to show the flag in a trouble spot.’
      • ‘In those years, ships of all navies happily visited Indian ports, and Indian ships showed the flag in other ports of the world.’
      • ‘One of the traditional diplomatic and political functions of the U.S. Navy is to represent and promote American imperial power by showing presence, going ashore, showing the flag.’
  • wrap oneself in the flag

    • Make an excessive show of one's patriotism, especially for political ends.

      • ‘Far too many of us wrap ourselves in the flag and say, ‘But I have a right to buy what I want, eat what I want, say what I want, do what I want, etc.’’
      • ‘Perhaps the most ironic aspect of the whole thing is that these are the first people to wrap themselves in the flag and pat themselves on the back for their patriotism.’
      • ‘And they can wrap themselves in the flag and say they ‘support our troops’ all they like - but it doesn't change the fact that their program is to promote our defeat at the hands of our enemies for their temporary political advantage.’
      • ‘Rather than wrap ourselves in the flag, it might be more interesting to ask conservatives just what happiness they resist pursuing, if self-restraint is so good.’
      • ‘This suited a number of interests, including a wildly unpopular Russian political class that quickly wrapped themselves in the flag.’
      • ‘It's like a crooked politician wrapping himself in the flag.’
      • ‘The President will wrap himself in the flag, pray the business cycle goes his way and pretend his gestures are real.’
      • ‘‘It would be counterproductive because it would trigger a xenophobic response and allow the violators to wrap themselves in the flag in an excessive spirit of nationalism,’ he said in a speech at John Hopkins University.’
      • ‘When trouble threatens, it's only natural to wrap ourselves in the flag, not because we're a vain people, not even because we're patriots, but because we want to feel safe, comforted.’
      • ‘Instead he wraps himself in the flag and other wedge issues to ward off proper discussion about his dismantling of Australian egalitarianism.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: perhaps from obsolete flag ‘drooping’, of unknown ultimate origin.

Pronunciation:

flag

/flaɡ/

Main definitions of flag in English

: flag1flag2flag3flag4

flag2

noun

  • A flat stone slab, typically rectangular or square, used for paving.

    • ‘York stone flags, laid in random sizes, were chosen for the paving to give a sense of quality and scale.’
    • ‘Stone flags are £32 per square yard and slates go for £2 each.’
    • ‘There were stone flags, bare boards and no central heating.’
    • ‘Its mills and cottages were beautifully built of Lancashire sandstone; its streets cobbled in granite; its pavements made of York stone flags.’
    • ‘Part of the work was the removal of stone flags which formed a raised area three steps high on which stood the altar.’
    • ‘He then found his brother laid on stone flags in the yard.’
    • ‘The work, beginning on Sunday and lasting for two weeks, involves digging out the asphalt path and replacing it with York stone flags.’
    • ‘In one part of the bar, there were still stone flags.’
    • ‘The Larder is basically a renovated two-storey barn, with warm stone flags, aged wooden beams and a collection of nicely lived-in old furniture.’
    • ‘At least the continuous cacophony, sounded like a wooden bucket being dragged across the floor, interspersed with the sound of bristles being vigorously applied to stone flags.’
    • ‘If you create something that's all railings and stone flags and lamp posts and signs, it may be neat and tidy but it doesn't do anything for wildlife.’
    • ‘There are a lot of stone flags and items stolen which are part of the village's history, so I thought something should be done.’
    • ‘The reporter had to ‘hack his way through the branches of a tree standing in the middle of the stone flags.’’
    • ‘The work would include inserting an original door entrance and erecting railings and laying old stone flags outside.’
    • ‘At the side of the house are a parking space, a garage and an enclosed courtyard with York stone flags.’
    • ‘They were surfaced with stone flags and were used for several centuries after the collapse of the Roman Empire in the First Millennium.’
    • ‘The work involves lifting pavements and replacing them with York stone flags.’
    • ‘Equally, if anyone is offered worn York stone flags, they should be suspicious.’
    • ‘Discarded items littered the paving flags, prams, shopping trolleys, bags of presents never to be opened.’
    • ‘Valuable stone flags and memorial stones have been stolen by thieves in a series of churchyard raids.’

Origin

Late Middle English (also in the sense ‘turf, sod’): probably of Scandinavian origin and related to Icelandic flag spot from which a sod has been cut and Old Norse flaga slab of stone.

Pronunciation:

flag

/flaɡ/

Main definitions of flag in English

: flag1flag2flag3flag4

flag3

noun

  • 1A plant with sword-shaped leaves that grow from a rhizome:

    • ‘Water vapour and carbon dioxide exchange were measured weekly on attached flag leaves from flowering until full senescence, from eight different plants of each line.’
    • ‘This area of yellowed chlorotic tissue marks the juncture of the stems and the flag leaves at the time of the freeze.’
    1. 1.1 The long slender leaf of a flag.

Origin

Late Middle English: related to Middle Dutch flag and Danish flæg; of unknown ultimate origin.

Pronunciation:

flag

/flaɡ/

Main definitions of flag in English

: flag1flag2flag3flag4

flag4

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Become tired or less enthusiastic or dynamic:

    ‘if you begin to flag, there is an excellent cafe to revive you’
    ‘an attempt to resurrect his flagging career’
    • ‘We had to leave after only a few hours because Mark was starting to flag a bit.’
    • ‘When her efforts continued for almost three hours and her strength began flagging, vets finally decided to prepare a mixture of water and medication to assist the rest of the birth.’
    • ‘Understandably, the smiths began to flag towards the end of the afternoon, for it was a hot day to be working orange hot iron.’
    • ‘I wasn't on best form, still suffering a little from my recent attack of the wearies, so I began to flag about half-way round the store, seeking places to sit for a while as Graham rummaged.’
    • ‘The village pub is only 39 steps away (why else do you think we bought the house?) and when things begin to flag we can take them across to revitalise the proceedings.’
    • ‘Although my head was definitely up for some serious retail therapy, my heart was elsewhere and I found my enthusiasm flagging after two or three shops.’
    • ‘The general impression is that agricultural expansion began under Augustus and flagged somewhat during the troubled period following his death.’
    • ‘Their energy - if not their enthusiasm for commerce - flagging, the group descended into the underground mall in search of the food court.’
    • ‘And that's where the book begins to flag, losing its plot.’
    • ‘It's a shame then that after such an inventive start the album begins to flag midway, with a series of mid-tempo ballads plodding by in unremarkable succession.’
    • ‘Perhaps this could be used when the increasingly preposterous plotlines begin to flag in a couple of series time.’
    • ‘He says her career was flagging when she hired him in 2003.’
    • ‘The party, so recently flagging, was beginning to take flight now.’
    • ‘I have played dolls with her once before and I am rather unsure of what I am supposed to contribute, but today I was very tired after the week's exertion and was flagging fast.’
    • ‘But two weeks passed and her hopes began to flag once more.’
    • ‘These public efforts began to flag in the late nineteenth century.’
    • ‘Both bands sounded bold and undeniably potent, were popular with the dance floor crowd and re-energised any flagging attention spans.’
    • ‘After her singing career flagged during the 1990s she reinvented herself as a pop diva, scoring 37 hit singles in the UK.’
    • ‘I'm beginning to flag by now, but we still have our ceremony to go.’
    • ‘Unfortunately after that it starts to flag quite seriously as you begin to realise there's actually not very much at all about to happen.’
    tire, become fatigued, grow tired, grow weary, weaken, grow weak, lose, lose one's energy, lose one's strength, falter, languish, wilt, droop, sag
    fade, fail, decline, deteriorate, wane, ebb, diminish, decrease, lessen, abate, dwindle, erode, recede, sink, slump, taper off
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘flap about loosely, hang down’): related to obsolete flag ‘hanging down’.

Pronunciation:

flag

/flaɡ/