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]
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Example sentences from the Web for at half-mast
Eric Garcetti succeeded Villaraigosa and has received high marks in his first year and a half on the job.The Golden State Preps for the ‘Red Wedding’ of Senate Races|David Freedlander|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
My dad was a sailor, and all through my childhood he was away half of the time at sea, and to an extent I have a similar job.
As a result, training squadrons—called Formal Training Units (FTU)—are being staffed with less than half the people they need.Exclusive: U.S. Drone Fleet at ‘Breaking Point,’ Air Force Says|Dave Majumdar|January 5, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Travel Noire fellows earned about a half million travel miles in 2014.‘We Out Here’: Inside the New Black Travel Movement|Charlise Ferguson|January 4, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Murders in the City of Angels have fallen by about half in the last 10 years: no small feat for such a big city.
It is the principal waste-product of metabolism, and constitutes about one-half of all the solids excreted—about 30 gm.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis|James Campbell Todd
A small book, bound in full purple calf, lay half hidden in a nest of fine tissue paper on the dressing-table.
Hilda, trembling at the door, more than half expected Mr. Orgreave to say: "You mean, she's invited herself."
All changes are to be Rang either by walking them (as the term is) or else Whole-pulls, or Half-pulls.Tintinnalogia, or, the Art of Ringing|Richard Duckworth and Fabian Stedman
The Vine is a universal favorite, and rarely out of view; while it often seems to cover half the ground in sight.Glances at Europe|Horace Greeley