checkered flag


plural checkered flags
auto racing
: a flag marked by alternating black and white squares that is waved at the finish line to signal the end of a race
Driving with a clear head and a deft right foot rather than an anxious heart, he slid into the lead three laps from the checkered flagSam Moses
In one race weekend Andretti had run the gamut—he had been fast qualifier, he had driven at a steady pace in the first 11 hours and he had won a final, desperate sprint to the checkered flag.Kim Chapin
He took the checkered flag [=crossed the finish line in first place] at California Speedway on Sept. 4 to become the youngest driver in the 56-year history of the Cup series to win a race …Lars Anderson

Word History

First Known Use

1908, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of checkered flag was in 1908

Dictionary Entries Near checkered flag

Cite this Entry

“Checkered flag.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.

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