at half-mast

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Related to at half mast: Half staff

at half-mast

1. At a position halfway up a flagpole. Most often used to describe 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.
2. At a lower position than is normal or acceptable. I had been walking around the office all morning before realizing that my zipper was at half-mast.
3. vulgar slang Of or having a partial erection (of the penis). Wow, I only caught a glimpse of my wife in that skimpy outfit and I'm already at half-mast!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The flag only flies at half mast for members of the Royal family, or councillors and former mayors.
But the latest decision to fly flags at half mast will apply only to the first anniversary of Diana's death.
The Royal Standard never flies at half mast signifying a monarchy is still ruling.
#AsmaJehangir a state funeral and allowing the Sindh Government to fly the national flag at half mast out of respect for her matchless contributions and unwavering principles #StateFuneralForAsmaJehangir
New Delhi, Aug.14 ( ANI ): The Government of India on Tuesday announced that the national flag would be flown at half mast as mark of respect for Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who passed away in Chennai at the age of 67.
Middlesbrough's civic flag was being flown at half mast from the Town Hall today in memory of a shipping tragedy.
A flag was flying at half mast at King Henry VIII school in Warwick Road, Coventry, yesterday in memory of Lindsay.
``We were going to take it down afterwards but when Ronald Reagan died on June 5, we decided to leave it at half mast for another week.''