\ˈblak-ˈflag \
black-flagged; black-flagging; black-flags

Definition of black-flag 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to signal (a race-car driver) to go immediately to the pits

black flag


Definition of black flag (Entry 2 of 2)

: a pirate's flag usually bearing a skull and crossbones

Examples of black-flag in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The black flag belongs to a pigeon keeper who climbs the uneven stairs up the eighth-century minaret to let loose his birds, waving it to keep them in flight, the man’s relatives and mosque neighbors say. Raja Abdulrahim, WSJ, "In a Coo Few People Want, Raqqa’s Pigeons Return," 29 Oct. 2018 Those militants were among the black flag-waving fighters who swore allegiance to the Islamic State group and laid siege to the southern Islamic city of Marawi last year. Jim Gomez, The Seattle Times, "Philippine rebel chief: 30,000 rebels to be disarmed in deal," 24 July 2018 This marked the first time the group’s black flags were flown in Europe. Barney Guiton, Newsweek, "Islamic State Supporters Hand Out Leaflets in Central London Promising 'Dawn of a New Era'," 12 Aug. 2014 The outburst resulted in Benson being black flagged. Tony Baranek, Daily Southtown, "Ice in his veins: From skates to racing shoes, John Senerchia travels the fast track to success at Grundy Speedway," 7 July 2018 Eyewitnesses reported seeing the attackers displaying the black flag of the Islamic State group. Washington Post, "Iraqi officials: Drive-by shooting kills 8 north of Baghdad," 2 May 2018 In an image provided by the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, Qari Hekmatullah, who is standing with a black flag to his left in this video still. Anchorage Daily News, "Islamic State leader in Afghanistan is killed in U.S. airstrike," 9 Apr. 2018 Long gone but by no means forgotten, Blackbeard's dreaded black flag will fly on state ferries to the Outer Banks this year. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "He maimed, killed, plundered. Why will NC fly Blackbeard's creepy black flag again? | Charlotte Observer," 5 Apr. 2018 Because that often seemed the case in this Roach Report, which features 13 Miami-Dade restaurants, 11 of which got black flagged wholly or partially for live roach violations. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "Too many roaches — and other gross things — get 11 Miami restaurants black flagged | Miami Herald," 15 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'black-flag.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of black-flag


1963, in the meaning defined above


1720, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about black-flag

Share black-flag

Statistics for black-flag

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for black-flag

The first known use of black-flag was in 1720

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on black-flag

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with black-flag

Comments on black-flag

What made you want to look up black-flag? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!