mast

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Related to Masts: mizzen, sail, spar

nail (one's) colors to the mast

To refuse to cease or surrender. Because lowering a ship's flag was a customary indication of surrender, this nautical phrase emphasizes the resolve of a ship's crew. We will nail our colors to the mast and fight on—they will never capture us! We're going to have a tough time beating this team now that they are playing with such determination. I fear they've nailed their colors to the mast.
See also: color, mast, nail

at half-mast

Partially raised or lowered. The phrase most often describes a flag that has been lowered to honor a recently-deceased person. After our former president died, flags were at half-mast all across the country. My daughter came home from the park covered in dirt, her ponytail at half-mast.

be at half-mast

To be partially raised or lowered. The phrase most often describes a flag that has been lowered to honor a recently-deceased person. After our former president died, flags were at half-mast all across the country. When my daughter came home from the park, she was covered in dirt, and her ponytail was at half-mast.

nail (one's) colours to the mast

To refuse to cease or surrender. Because lowering a ship's flag was a customary indication of surrender, this nautical phrase emphasizes the resolve of a ship's crew. We will nail our colours to the mast and fight on—they will never capture us! We're going to have a tough time beating this team now that they are playing with such determination. I fear they've nailed their colours to the mast.
See also: colour, mast, nail

at half-mast

 and at half-staff
[of a flag] halfway up or down its flagpole. The flag was flying at half-mast because the general had died. Americans fly flags at half-staff on Memorial Day.

at half-mast

Halfway up or down, as in The church bells tolled off and on all day and the flags were at half-mast. This term refers to placing a flag halfway up a ship's mast or flagpole, a practice used as a mark of respect for a person who has died or, at sea, as a distress signal. Occasionally the term is transferred to other objects, as in Tom's pants were at half-mast as he raced around the playground, or The puppy's tail was at half-mast. [First half of 1600s]

nail your colours to the mast

BRITISH, JOURNALISM
1. If you nail your colours to the mast, you state your opinions or beliefs about something clearly and publicly. Note: A ship's colours are its national flag. Let me nail my colours to the mast straightaway. I both like and admire him immensely.
2. If you nail your colours to the mast, you say clearly and publicly that you support a particular person, idea, or theory. Note: A ship's colours are its national flag. In the Thatcher years, the young MP nailed his colours to Mrs T's mast more firmly than most. This was the moment he nailed his colours to the mast of Social Security reform. Note: Battleships used to lower their colours to show that they were surrendering. Sometimes the colours were nailed to the mast as a sign of determination to fight to the end.
See also: colour, mast, nail

nail (or pin) your colours to the mast

declare openly and firmly what you believe or favour.
See also: colour, mast, nail

nail your colours to the ˈmast

(especially British English) show clearly which side you support: It’s time to nail our colours to the mast and condemn this dreadful policy. OPPOSITE: sit on the fenceIn this expression, colours are flags. In a battle at sea, a ship would nail its colours to the mast to show its intention to continue fighting and not surrender.
See also: colour, mast, nail

nail one's colors to the mast

Adopt an unyielding attitude. This nineteenth-century expression alludes to flying a flag from a ship’s mast. If the flag is nailed to the mast, it cannot be hauled down. Sir Walter Scott may have been the first to put it in writing: “Stood for his country’s glory fast, And nailed her colours to the mast” (Marmion, 1808). Although the days of flag-flying sailing ships are in the past, the expression lives on. It appeared in Great Outdoors (Sept. 27, 1989): “The prince neatly side-stepped nailing his colours to the mast in the national parks debate.”
See also: color, mast, nail
References in periodicals archive ?
In May 2007 Thales started delivery of CM010 masts to Japans Mitsubishi Electric Corporation for installation aboard the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Forces new 'Soryu' class SSK, under a contract received in November 2004.
Parliament public utilities and environment affairs committee chairman MP Hassan Al Dossary described the erection of masts in Bahrain as "hectic".
"The problem why we are unable to clearly issue permits is because there are no laws yet approved on enforcing fees to pay for such masts," he said.
Geordieracer82 commented: "When they want to put up a mast in Benwell or Scotswood, and the residents there ain't happy, does it get any media attention?
Mast's nearly two-year-long path to exoneration came to an end July 22 when a Douglas County jury acquitted him of five counts of third-degree sexual abuse, five counts of contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor and one count of furnishing liquor to a minor.
Coun Bob Beauchamp (Con, Erdington) said: "The companies should be told to share masts otherwise every part of Birmingham could be cluttered with five or six."
"They could be seen from a long way away and I'm sure on long journeys people would see the masts in the distance and know they were nearly home.
Residents refused to give up their fight against the structure after the mast was granted planning permission by Cardiff council in spite of hundreds of objections.
As can be seen from the foregoing analysis, in the modelling and design of guyed masts with combined guys, suitable design parameters should be selected.
People living in the Emerson Avenue area fear the masts put people's health at risk.
URGENT safety checks have been ordered on controversial radio masts towering over Scotland's railways.
THE Mayor of Kerry has claimed that Telecommunications giants such as Vodaphone and O2 should be forced to pay levees for the erection of mobile phone masts in the county.
And he is demanding a government rethink of rules which mean that residents cannot object to masts on health grounds.