from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A piece of cloth, usually rectangular, of distinctive color and design, used as a symbol, standard, signal, or emblem.
  • noun National or other allegiance, as symbolized by a flag.
  • noun A ship carrying the flag of an admiral; a flagship.
  • noun A marking device, such as a gummed strip of paper, attached to an object to attract attention or ease identification; a tab.
  • noun The masthead of a newspaper.
  • noun Music A cross stroke that halves the value of a note to which it is added.
  • noun A distinctively shaped or marked tail, as of a dog or deer.
  • noun Computers A variable or memory location that stores true-or-false, yes-or-no information.
  • transitive verb To mark with a flag or flags for identification or ornamentation.
  • transitive verb To signal with or as if with a flag.
  • transitive verb To signal to stop.
  • noun A plant, such as an iris or cattail, that has long sword-shaped leaves.
  • noun A flagstone.
  • transitive verb To pave with slabs of flagstone.
  • intransitive verb To lose vigor or strength; weaken or diminish.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To hang loosely and laxly; droop from weakness or weariness.
  • To grow languid or less active; move or act more slowly; become feeble; droop; decline; fail: as, the spirits flag.
  • To grow stale or vapid; lose interest or relish.
  • To become careless or inefficient; slacken; halt.
  • To flap; wave.
  • Synonyms To languish, pine, sink, succumb.
  • To cause or suffer to droop.
  • To make feeble; enervate; exhaust.
  • To place a flag over or on: as, to flag a house.
  • To signal or warn by the use of a flag: as, to flag a train or a steamboat.
  • To decoy, as game, by waving some object like a flag to excite attention or curiosity.
  • To tighten the seams of (a barrel) by means of flags. See flag, n. Encyc.
  • To lay or pave with flags or flat stones.
  • noun A piece of turf; a sod.
  • noun A flat stone used for paving.
  • noun A flake of snow.
  • noun A tuft of coarse grass.
  • noun One of various endogenous plants with sword-shaped leaves, mostly growing in moist places; particularly, the common species of Iris, as the yellow flag or water-flag of England (I. Pseudacorus), the white flag (I. Germanica), and blue flags of the United States, as I. versicolor and I. prismatica.
  • noun A groat; fourpence.
  • noun A trade-name for the outer or distal portion of bristle, which is thinner and lighter than the basal portion.
  • noun Iris Florentina, with bluish-white flowers. See Iris and orris-root.
  • noun A piece of thin, light fabric, especially bunting, usually rectangular and oblong or square, but sometimes triangular, notched, or otherwise varied in form, ranging from a few inches to several yards in dimensions, used hanging free from a staff to which it is attached or connected by one end, for many purposes, as a signal, symbol, cognizance, or standard, and differing in size, color, and emblematic marking or ornamentation, according to its intended use.
  • noun The wing or pinion of a bird.
  • noun In a glass-furnace having a grate-room in each end, a part of the bed intervening between the two grate-rooms and serving as a partition between them.
  • noun In ornithology, the tuft of long feathers on the leg of falcons and most other hawks; the lengthened feathers on the crus or tibia.
  • noun In sporting, the tail of a deer or of a setter dog.
  • noun In music. See pennant and hook.
  • noun The recognized standard or symbol of an extreme revolutionary party, or of those who seek social as well as political revolution or anarchy: as, the red flag of the Commune.
  • noun A signal displayed by boats carrying powder, and by ships of war when they are shipping or discharging powder.
  • noun A danger-signal in target-practice and on railways: used on the latter to bring trains to a stand.
  • noun A piece of red flannel used as a lure for flsh.
  • noun The bloody spout of a dying whale.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To let droop; to suffer to fall, or let fall, into feebleness.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Origin unknown.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English flagge, reed, of Scandinavian origin.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English flagge, piece of turf, from Old Norse flaga, slab of stone; see plāk- in Indo-European roots.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Possibly of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse flögra, to flap about.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Of uncertain origin; compare Danish flæg.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Icelandic flag

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably from Old Norse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English flag, flagge ("flag"), further etymology uncertain. Perhaps from or related to early Middle English flage ("name for a baby's garment") and Old English flagg, flacg ("cataplasm, poultice, plaster"). Related to Dutch vlag ("flag"), German Flagge ("flag"), Swedish flagg ("flag"), Danish flag ("flag, ship's flag"). Compare also Middle English flacken ("to flutter, palpitate"), Swedish dialectal flage ("to flutter in the wind"), Old Norse flögra ("to flap about"). Akin to Old High German flogarōn ("to flutter"), Old High German flogezen ("to flutter, flicker"), Middle English flakeren ("to move quickly to and fro"), Old English flacor ("fluttering, flying"). More at flack, flacker.


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  • Another coinc - this one the British fourpence or groat.

    January 15, 2013