[ haf-mast, hahf-mahst ]
/ ˈhæfˈmæst, ˈhɑfˈmɑst /


a position approximately halfway between the top of a mast, staff, etc., and its base.

verb (used with object)

to place (a flag) at half-mast, as a mark of respect for the dead or as a signal of distress.

Origin of half-mast

First recorded in 1620–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for half-mast

British Dictionary definitions for half-mast



the lower than normal position to which a flag is lowered on a mast as a sign of mourning or distress


(tr) to put (a flag) in this position
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