red flag


Definition of red flag 

1 : a warning signal

2 : something that attracts usually irritated attention

Examples of red flag in a Sentence

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

The Sacramento County Office of Education began investigating the charter school in February of last year, after the California Department of Education raised red flags about its reimbursement practices. Diana Lambert, sacbee, "Adult charter could lose state funds, face sanctions after state review finds questionable practices," 3 July 2018 This isn't the first time the players have been injured, but Steele said that doesn't raise red flags with him anymore. Mark Inabinett,, "When Auburn expects Jeremiah Dinson, Jordyn Peters back from A-Day injuries," 23 Apr. 2018 The team managed to win four of those games, but the struggles at the X raised a red flag for Tillman. Edward Lee,, "Review & preview: Maryland men’s lacrosse," 12 June 2018 One of the effects of the rise of intangibles is that companies with negative book value, traditionally a red flag for investors, have become more common. Bloomberg,, "What's a stock worth? In the new economy, traditional accounting has its critics," 8 June 2018 That led them to Michael LeBrun, who originally told investigators that Muns may have gone scuba diving and drowned, which raised a red flag for the agents. Jonathan Leach, CBS News, "NCIS agents vow to solve "unsolvable" cold case and restore a sailor's honor," 29 May 2018 Self-harm is one red flag for suicide risk, although not every child who cuts or scratches or harms him or herself is at risk of suicide. NBC News, "More kids, especially girls, are attempting suicide. It's not clear why.," 16 May 2018 Any bumps or redness around this area could be a red flag for something else. Kelsey Castañon,, "Is That Bump On Your Vagina Something Serious — Or Just A Pimple?," 3 May 2018 That day was a Friday, and the Sun publishes weekly on Thursday so that should have been a red flag for those familiar with the paper. Nick Vadala,, "No, Michelle Wolf was not arrested for bestiality in Hershey, Pa.," 1 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of red flag

1748, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about red flag

Statistics for red flag

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for red flag

The first known use of red flag was in 1748

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for red flag

red flag


English Language Learners Definition of red flag

: a warning sign : a sign that there is a problem that should be noticed or dealt with

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on red flag

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


one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!