\ ˈred-ˈflag How to pronounce red-flag (audio) \
red-flagged; red-flagging; red-flags

Definition of red-flag

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to identify or draw attention to (a problem or issue to be dealt with) Those who voice the most displeasure in their marriage, are more likely to complain about their partner's weight, Newport adds, which may help counselors red-flag weakening relationships before it's too late.— Matthew J. Cravatta Drug testing, detailed questions about previous employment history, and criminal-record checks go a long way toward red-flagging risks.— Anne Fisher We met, we got along great, and I [Spike Lee] told her, "Not only do I want you to work with the actors, but I want you to look at this script. I am a man, and I know there's going to be stuff in there that's strictly from a male viewpoint—I want you to red-flag that stuff."— Anne Stockwell

red flag

plural red flags

Definition of red flag (Entry 2 of 2)

: a warning signal or sign A high body-mass index is a red flag in general to clinicians. But sudden, unexplained weight loss can be even more worrisome.— Melinda Beck : something that indicates or draws attention to a problem, danger, or irregularity Interested large investors often send in their own CPAs to conduct complete audits to verify statements or to spot red flags, such as excessively old inventory or uncollectible accounts receivable.Inc. Whether you're dating a potential gold digger or are surrounded by friends who are constantly asking for handouts, you'll want to protect your money from those kinds of drains. Watch out for red flags such as dishonesty, secrecy around money matters and requests to co-sign a loan.— Kimberly Palmer Though Kearse did not take legal possession of the car until Jan. 4, 1999, after his eligibility had expired, the purchase raised red flags. [=aroused suspicions of wrongdoing]— L. Jon Wertheim

Examples of red-flag in a Sentence

Noun Gaps in your employment history are red flags to employers. the résumé she accidentally left on the office printer was a red flag that she was planning to quit
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The only times she was allowed outside were for the raising of the red flag at dawn and the singing of songs about the glory of Chairman Mao at sunset, after eating the scraps that passed for dinner. Nury Turkel, The Week, 10 May 2022 Those photos of travelers feeding adorable lion cubs or taking selfies with sloths are a major red flag. Stephanie Vermillion, Outside Online, 3 May 2022 Shoulder issues are a major red flag for pitchers Zac Gallen and Jack Flaherty. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, 30 Mar. 2022 If a scooter that’s supposed to be in Paris suddenly indicates it’s in Berlin, this kind of red flag can indicate connectivity fraud. Ben Forgan, Forbes, 27 May 2021 His practice run may have been the only one to get a full, clean run on red tires due to a late red flag from Will Power stalling in the gravel in Turn 9 after going off in Turn 8 with 12 minutes left in practice. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 30 Apr. 2022 One red flag, compliance officers said, is when a corporate customer that traditionally had many counterparties in Russia suddenly switches to using counterparties in another country, such as Hungary, that may be viewed as having weaker oversight. Dylan Tokar, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2022 There are widespread red flag and high wind warnings in effect across several states, including Denver, Colorado and New Mexico. Bynadine El-bawab Anddan Peck, ABC News, 22 Apr. 2022 The triangular red flag is the most popular, followed by the US flag and the rainbow flag. Anne Quito, Quartz, 31 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of red-flag


1962, in the meaning defined above


1748, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of red-flag was in 1748

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red flag

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Cite this Entry

“Red-flag.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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