Definition of flag noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//flæɡ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//flæɡ//
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  1. 1  a piece of cloth with a special coloured design on it that may be the symbol of a particular country or organization, or may have a particular meaning. A flag can be attached to a pole or held in the hand the Italian flag the flag of Italy The hotel flies the European Union flag. The American flag was flying. All the flags were at half mast (= in honour of a famous person who has died). The black and white flag went down, and the race began. see also blue flag
  2. 2used to refer to a particular country or organization and its beliefs and values to swear allegiance to the flag He was working under the flag of the United Nations.
  3. 3  a piece of cloth that is attached to a pole and used as a signal or marker in various sports See related entries: Golf
  4. 4 a flower that is a type of iris and that grows near water yellow flags
  5. 5= flagstone
  6. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 3 mid 16th cent.: perhaps from obsolete flag ‘drooping’, of unknown ultimate origin. noun sense 5 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’. noun sense 4 late Middle English: related to Middle Dutch flag and Danish flæg; of unknown ultimate origin. Extra examplesA tattered flag hung from the roof of the burnt-out building. Hamilton took the chequered/​checkered flag to win his fourth Grand Prix of the season. The crowd all waved flags as the president came past. The fact that it was so cheap should have been a warning flag for me. a flag fluttering in the breeze a flag of truce a ship flying a Russian flag a ship sailing under a British flagIdioms to show your support for your country, an organization or an idea to encourage or persuade others to do the same to represent your country or organization Our exporters keep the flag flying at international trade exhibitions.
    like waving a red flag in front of a bull (US English) (British English a red rag to a bull)
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    something that is likely to make somebody very angry
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: flag