Share this entry

half-mast Syllabification: half-mast

Definition of half-mast in English:


1The position of a flag that is being flown some way below the top of its staff as a mark of respect for a person who has died.
Example sentences
  • A council spokesman said: ‘We will be asking employees to observe the three minutes silence and we will have our flags at half mast as marks of respect.’
  • At the plant, which remained closed yesterday, two orange TCL flags were flown at half mast, as a mark of respect for the two lives which were lost.
  • Flags were flying at half mast as a mark of respect for the Duke of Norfolk who died two days ago at the age of 86, the Arundel ground being part of the Duke's estate.
1.1chiefly humorous A position lower than normal or acceptable, especially for clothes: the zipper on his fly was always riding at half-mast
More example sentences
  • It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast.
  • it was well into the evening and my tie was at half mast.

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources