Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
1. verb, slang To arrest someone. The police will flag all of us if they catch us drinking—we are underage, you know.
2. verb, slang To fail something. You better study hard, or you'll flag this exam.
3. noun, slang The grade of F on something. You better study hard or you'll get a flag on this exam.
4. noun, slang A bandana worn to show one's gang affiliation. What color flag is that kid wearing?
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?
To mark or highlight someone or something for the attention of others. A noun or pronoun can be used between "flag" and "up." The council was right to flag up these inconsistencies in the administration's report. Something in my Internet search history must have flagged me up to the authorities.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1. tv. to fail a course. Pat flagged English again.
2. n. the grade of F. I’ll get a flag on algebra for the semester.
3. tv. to arrest someone. (see also flagged.) They flagged Bob for speeding even though he was a judge.
4. n. a headcloth or bandana, especially one that shows gang identity. (Streets.) The kid wore a “flag” that alerted the officers to the fact that he was a gang member.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.