flag down

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flag down

To wave one's arms to attract someone's attention, usually to get them to stop moving. A noun or pronoun can be used between "flag" and "down." I was finally able to flag down a passing motorist to help with our stalled car. It'll take a while to flag a taxi down. Why don't we just walk to the museum?
See also: down, flag
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

flag someone or something down

to signal or wave, indicating that someone should stop. Please go out and flag a taxi down. I'll be right out. She went to flag down a taxi.
See also: down, flag
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

flag down

Signal to stop, as in The police were flagging down all cars. This expression uses the verb flag in the sense of "catch the attention of, as by waving a flag," a usage dating from the mid-1800s; down was added in the first half of the 1900s.
See also: down, flag
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.

flag down

v.
To signal something or someone to stop: I flagged down a taxi when it started raining. When we ran out of gas, we flagged the police officer down to ask for help.
See also: down, flag
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"Of the 1,000 transport vehicles we flagged down since Monday, we have impounded a minimal number.
The victim, a 76-year-old man from Northumberland, was flagged down by a man who claimed his grey Renault Laguna car had run out of petrol and asked for money, allegedly offering to exchange a low-value European currency for British pounds.
He said: "I hesitate to say that if he had never flagged down the officers he would never have come to the attention of police."
She was driving her red C4 Citroen towards Rhyl when she was flagged down by a male motorist who was travelling directly behind her.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: "A passer-by was flagged down to call 999 after children reported a motorcyclist had injured himself nearby.
The 47-year-old cabbie was flagged down by two men and a woman.
"It happened at 10.47pm on Sunday, September 18, when police were flagged down by a bus driver close to West Road Police Station after a passenger had become aggressive.
Strathclyde Police said if you're flagged down suspiciously, drive to a well-lit public area or police station before stopping, ask for identification, then call police to check authenticity or request a marked patrol car.
Always pre-book private hire vehicles - only Hackney carriages can be flagged down or hired from a taxi rank.
The mother and son were arrested when they flagged down a sheriff's deputy to get directions to a local hospital.
In a separate incident, a man of 35 was stabbed five times in his own car after he was flagged down in the street.
Police went to the house after they were flagged down by people in a nearby street asking for help.
Police officers battled to save the pair, aged 20 and 23, after being flagged down by members of the public.
She flagged down a car whose driver said it was a taxi and had identification but the driver took her in the wrong direction and did not have any radio or identification plate.
Two men claiming to be detectives investigating a forged euro-note scam flagged down Roy and Ida Wickwar as they drove along a ring-road outside Madrid.