What does flag mean?

Definitions for flag

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word flag.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. flag(noun)

    emblem usually consisting of a rectangular piece of cloth of distinctive design

  2. masthead, flag(noun)

    a listing printed in all issues of a newspaper or magazine (usually on the editorial page) that gives the name of the publication and the names of the editorial staff, etc.

  3. iris, flag, fleur-de-lis, sword lily(noun)

    plants with sword-shaped leaves and erect stalks bearing bright-colored flowers composed of three petals and three drooping sepals

  4. flag, signal flag(noun)

    a rectangular piece of fabric used as a signalling device

  5. pin, flag(noun)

    flagpole used to mark the position of the hole on a golf green

  6. flag, flagstone(noun)

    stratified stone that splits into pieces suitable as paving stones

  7. flag(verb)

    a conspicuously marked or shaped tail

  8. flag(verb)

    communicate or signal with a flag

  9. flag(verb)

    provide with a flag

    "Flag this file so that I can recognize it immediately"

  10. sag, droop, swag, flag(verb)

    droop, sink, or settle from or as if from pressure or loss of tautness

  11. flag(verb)

    decorate with flags

    "the building was flagged for the holiday"

  12. ease up, ease off, slacken off, flag(verb)

    become less intense

Webster Dictionary

  1. Flag(verb)

    to hang loose without stiffness; to bend down, as flexible bodies; to be loose, yielding, limp

  2. Flag(verb)

    to droop; to grow spiritless; to lose vigor; to languish; as, the spirits flag; the streugth flags

  3. Flag(verb)

    to let droop; to suffer to fall, or let fall, into feebleness; as, to flag the wings

  4. Flag(verb)

    to enervate; to exhaust the vigor or elasticity of

  5. Flag(noun)

    that which flags or hangs down loosely

  6. Flag(noun)

    a cloth usually bearing a device or devices and used to indicate nationality, party, etc., or to give or ask information; -- commonly attached to a staff to be waved by the wind; a standard; a banner; an ensign; the colors; as, the national flag; a military or a naval flag

  7. Flag(noun)

    a group of feathers on the lower part of the legs of certain hawks, owls, etc

  8. Flag(noun)

    a group of elongated wing feathers in certain hawks

  9. Flag(noun)

    the bushy tail of a dog, as of a setter

  10. Flag(verb)

    to signal to with a flag; as, to flag a train

  11. Flag(verb)

    to convey, as a message, by means of flag signals; as, to flag an order to troops or vessels at a distance

  12. Flag(noun)

    an aquatic plant, with long, ensiform leaves, belonging to either of the genera Iris and Acorus

  13. Flag(verb)

    to furnish or deck out with flags

  14. Flag(noun)

    a flat stone used for paving

  15. Flag(noun)

    any hard, evenly stratified sandstone, which splits into layers suitable for flagstones

  16. Flag(verb)

    to lay with flags of flat stones

  17. Origin: [Icel. flaga, cf. Icel. flag spot where a turf has been cut out, and E. flake layer, scale. Cf. Floe.]


  1. Flag

    A flag is most of the time a piece of fabric with a distinctive design that is usually rectangular and used as a symbol, as a signaling device, or decoration. The term flag is also used to refer to the graphic design employed by a flag, or to its depiction in another medium. The first flags were used to assist military coordination on battlefields, and flags have since evolved into a general tool for rudimentary signalling and identification, especially in environments where communication is similarly challenging. National flags are potent patriotic symbols with varied wide-ranging interpretations, often including strong military associations due to their original and ongoing military uses. Flags are also used in messaging, advertising, or for other decorative purposes. The study of flags is known as vexillology, from the Latin vexillum meaning flag or banner.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Flag

    flag, v.i. to grow languid or spiritless.—pr.p. flag′ging; pa.p. flagged.—n. Flag′giness.—adj. Flag′gy, limp, flabby. [Perh. O. Fr. flac—L. flaccus; prob. influenced by imit. forms as flap.]

  2. Flag

    flag, n. a popular name for many plants with sword-shaped leaves, mostly growing in moist situations, sometimes specially the species of iris or flower-de-luce—esp. the yellow flag: the acorus or sweet flag: (B.) reed-grass.—ns. Flag′-bas′ket, a basket made of reeds for carrying tools; Flag′giness.—adj. Flag′gy, abounding in flags.—n. Flag′-worm, a worm or grub bred among flags or reeds. [Ety. obscure; cf. Dut. flag.]

  3. Flag

    flag, n. the ensign of a ship or of troops: a banner.—v.t. to decorate with flags: to inform by flag-signals.—ns. Flag′-cap′tain, in the navy, the captain of the ship which bears the admiral's flag; Flag′-lieuten′ant, an officer in a flag-ship, corresponding to an aide-de-camp in the army; Flag′-off′icer, a naval officer privileged to carry a flag denoting his rank—admiral, vice-admiral, rear-admiral, or commodore; Flag′-ship, the ship in which an admiral sails, and which carries his flag; Flag′staff, a staff or pole on which a flag is displayed.—Flag of distress, a flag displayed as a signal of distress—usually upside down or at half-mast; Flag of truce, a white flag displayed during war when some pacific communication is intended between the hostile parties; Black flag, a pirate's flag, pirates generally; Dip the flag, to lower the flag and then hoist it—a token of respect; Hang out the red flag, to give a challenge to battle; Strike, or Lower, the flag, to pull it down as a token of respect, submission, or surrender; White flag, an emblem of peace; Yellow flag, hoisted to show pestilence on board, also over ships, &c., in quarantine, and hospitals, &c., in time of war. [Prob. Scand.; Dan. flag; Dut. vlag, Ger. flagge.]

  4. Flag

    flag, n. a stone that separates in flakes or layers: a flat stone used for paving—also Flag′stone.—v.t. to pave with flagstones.—n. Flag′ging, flagstones: a pavement of flagstones. [A form of flake; Ice. flaga, a flag or slab.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. flag

    [very common] A variable or quantity that can take on one of two values; a bit, particularly one that is used to indicate one of two outcomes or is used to control which of two things is to be done. “This flag controls whether to clear the screen before printing the message.” “The program status word contains several flag bits.” Used of humans analogously to bit. See also hidden flag, mode bit.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. flag

    A general name for the distinguishing colours of any nation. Also, a certain banner by which an admiral is distinguished at sea from the inferior ships of his squadron. The flags of the British navy were severally on a red, white, or blue field, and were displayed from the top of the royal pole of the main, fore, or mizen mast, according to the rank of the admiral, thus indicating nine degrees. This diversity of colour has now been long done away with. The white field, with the red St. George's cross, and the sinister upper corner occupied by the union, is now alone used in the British navy--the blue being assigned to the reserve, and the red to the mercantile navy. An admiral still displays his flag exclusively at the main truck; a vice-admiral at the fore; a rear-admiral at the mizen. The first flag in importance is the royal standard of Great Britain and Ireland, hoisted only when the king or queen is on board; the second is the anchor of hope, for the lord high-admiral, or the lords-commissioners of the admiralty; and the third is the union flag, for the admiral of the fleet, who is the next officer under the lord high-admiral. The various other departments, such as the navy board, custom-house, &c., have each their respective flags. Besides the national flag, merchant ships are permitted to bear lesser flags on any mast, with the arms or design of the firm to which they belong, but they "must not resemble or be mistaken for any of the flags or signals used by the royal navy," under certain penalties. When a council of war is held at sea, if it be on board the admiral's ship, a flag is hung on the main-shrouds; if the vice-admiral's, on the fore-shrouds; and if the rear-admiral's, on the mizen-shrouds. The flags borne on the mizen were particularly called gallants. There are also smaller flags used for signals. The word flag is often familiarly used to denote the admiral himself. Also, the reply from the boat if an admiral is on board--Flag!

Suggested Resources

  1. FLAG

    What does FLAG stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the FLAG acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'flag' in Nouns Frequency: #1821

How to pronounce flag?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say flag in sign language?

  1. flag


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of flag in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of flag in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of flag in a Sentence

  1. Du Preez:

    That was a red flag.

  2. Dan Caldwell:

    We are planting our flag.

  3. Josh Peck:

    One week of this isn't a big flag for me.

  4. Janet Diaz:

    That was a big red flag event for all of us.

  5. Edwin Hubbel Chapin:

    Ostentation is the signal flag of hypocrisy.

Images & Illustrations of flag

  1. flagflagflagflagflag

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for flag

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for flag »


Find a translation for the flag definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Український (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Discuss these flag definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"flag." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 23 Jan. 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/flag>.

Are we missing a good definition for flag? Don't keep it to yourself...

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for flag:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.