black flag

See synonyms for black flag on
  1. a pirate flag, usually of black cloth with a white skull and crossbones on it; Jolly Roger.

  2. a flag having two yellow and two black squares, signifying the letter L in the International Code of Signals: formerly so called when used by itself to indicate the presence of cholera on board a vessel.

  1. a signal given to an automobile racing driver to stop, usually because the car may have a dangerous problem that requires inspection.

Origin of black flag

First recorded in 1585–95

Words Nearby black flag Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use black flag in a sentence

  • The black flag of the buccaneers of reconstruction marked not with death's heads but by red stars!

    The Broken Sword | Dennison Worthington
  • The black flag is up, and no doubt she means mischief; but all is fair and above board.

  • As to the black flag, that is merely a joke that my fellows play off upon people sometimes in order to frighten them.

    The Coral Island | R.M. Ballantyne
  • Cyrus Harding had not seen the suspected vessel hoist the black flag without deep anxiety.

    The Secret of the Island | W.H.G. Kingston (translation from Jules Verne)

British Dictionary definitions for black flag

black flag

  1. another name for the Jolly Roger

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012