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.

Words Nearby flag down

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

How to use flag down in a sentence

  • The patriotic agent tried to reason with them but to no avail, so one afternoon he took the flag down for a time.

  • And there flies a white flag down at the river's edge—has that something to do with it?

    A Little Girl in Old Detroit | Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • What she said or did hereon is strictly a family question, and can in no way concern the public, since I hauled my flag down.

    The Maid of Sker | Richard Doddridge Blackmore