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

  • n. A piece of cloth, usually rectangular, of distinctive color and design, used as a symbol, standard, signal, or emblem.
  • n. National or other allegiance, as symbolized by a flag: ships of the same flag.
  • n. A ship carrying the flag of an admiral; a flagship.
  • n. A marking device, such as a gummed strip of paper, attached to an object to attract attention or ease identification; a tab.
  • n. The masthead of a newspaper.
  • n. Music A cross stroke that halves the value of a note to which it is added.
  • n. A distinctively shaped or marked tail, as of a dog or deer.
  • n. Computer Science A variable or memory location that stores true-or-false, yes-or-no information.
  • transitive v. To mark with a flag or flags for identification or ornamentation: flag a parade route; flagging parts of a manuscript for later review.
  • transitive v. To signal with or as if with a flag.
  • transitive v. To signal to stop: flag down a passing car.
  • n. A plant, such as an iris or cattail, that has long sword-shaped leaves.
  • intransitive v. To hang limply; droop.
  • intransitive v. To decline in vigor or strength: The conversation flagged.
  • n. A flagstone.
  • transitive v. To pave with slabs of flagstone.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A piece of cloth, often decorated with an emblem, used as a visual signal or symbol.
  • n. A flag flown by a ship to show the presence on board of the admiral; the admiral himself, or his flagship.
  • n. A signal flag.
  • n. The use of a flag, especially to indicate the start of a race or other event.
  • n. A variable or memory location that stores a true-or-false, yes-or-no value, typically either recording the fact that a certain event has occurred or requesting that a certain optional action take place.
  • n. In a command line interface, a notation requesting optional behavior or otherwise modifying the action of the command being invoked.
  • n. An abbreviation for capture the flag.
  • v. To mark with a flag, especially to indicate the importance of something.
  • v. To signal to, especially to stop a passing vehicle etc.
  • v. To note, mark or point out for attention.
  • v. To signal (an event).
  • v. To set a program variable to true.
  • n. Any of various plants with sword-shaped leaves, especially irises; specifically, Iris pseudacorus.
  • n. A slice of turf; a sod.
  • n. A slab of stone; a flagstone, a flat piece of stone used for paving.
  • v. To lay down flagstones.
  • v. To weaken, become feeble.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which flags or hangs down loosely.
  • n. 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
  • n.
  • n. A group of feathers on the lower part of the legs of certain hawks, owls, etc.
  • n. A group of elongated wing feathers in certain hawks.
  • n. The bushy tail of a dog, as of a setter.
  • n. One of the wing feathers next the body of a bird; -- called also flag feather.
  • n. An aquatic plant, with long, ensiform leaves, belonging to either of the genera Iris and Acorus.
  • n. A flat stone used for paving.
  • n. Any hard, evenly stratified sandstone, which splits into layers suitable for flagstones.
  • intransitive v. To hang loose without stiffness; to bend down, as flexible bodies; to be loose, yielding, limp.
  • intransitive v. To droop; to grow spiritless; to lose vigor; to languish
  • transitive v. To let droop; to suffer to fall, or let fall, into feebleness.
  • transitive v. To enervate; to exhaust the vigor or elasticity of.
  • transitive v. To signal to with a flag or by waving the hand; ; also used with down.
  • transitive v. To convey, as a message, by means of flag signals.
  • transitive v. To decoy (game) by waving a flag, handkerchief, or the like to arouse the animal's curiosity.
  • transitive v. To furnish or deck out with flags.
  • transitive v. To lay with flags of flat stones.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. The wing or pinion of a bird.
  • n. 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.
  • n. In ornithology, the tuft of long feathers on the leg of falcons and most other hawks; the lengthened feathers on the crus or tibia.
  • n. In sporting, the tail of a deer or of a setter dog.
  • n. In music. See pennant and hook.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A signal displayed by boats carrying powder, and by ships of war when they are shipping or discharging powder.
  • n. A danger-signal in target-practice and on railways: used on the latter to bring trains to a stand.
  • n. A piece of red flannel used as a lure for flsh.
  • n. The bloody spout of a dying whale.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A piece of turf; a sod.
  • n. A flat stone used for paving.
  • n. A flake of snow.
  • n. A tuft of coarse grass.
  • n. A groat; fourpence.
  • n. A trade-name for the outer or distal portion of bristle, which is thinner and lighter than the basal portion.
  • n. Iris Florentina, with bluish-white flowers. See Iris and orris-root.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. decorate with flags
  • v. communicate or signal with a flag
  • n. plants with sword-shaped leaves and erect stalks bearing bright-colored flowers composed of three petals and three drooping sepals
  • v. droop, sink, or settle from or as if from pressure or loss of tautness
  • n. a rectangular piece of fabric used as a signalling device
  • n. flagpole used to mark the position of the hole on a golf green
  • v. become less intense
  • n. stratified stone that splits into pieces suitable as paving stones
  • n. 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.
  • n. emblem usually consisting of a rectangular piece of cloth of distinctive design
  • v. provide with a flag
  • n. a conspicuously marked or shaped tail


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

Origin unknown.
Middle English flagge, reed, of Scandinavian origin.
Possibly of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse flögra, to flap about.
Middle English flagge, piece of turf, from Old Norse flaga, slab of stone; see plāk-1 in Indo-European roots.

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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably from Old Norse.

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



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

    January 15, 2013