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Half-mast   /hæf-mæst/   Listen
Half-mast

noun
1.
A position some distance below the top of a mast to which a flag is lowered in mourning or to signal distress.  Synonym: half-staff.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Half-mast" Quotes from Famous Books



... been beating. All day the tramp of martial feet had been heard along the Gold City streets. The soldiers from Camp Sheridan had marched in line with the local militia, and a few trembling veterans who knew more of real war than either. "Old Glory" on the court house had been at half-mast, the children had scattered flowers on a few flag-marked graves, while faltering voices of age read the Grand Army Ritual. The public exercises in the ...
— The Transformation of Job - A Tale of the High Sierras • Frederick Vining Fisher

... run up at half-mast, and, this being the signal of distress, it was hoped that the American steamer, perceiving it, would change her course a little, so ...
— Around the World in 80 Days • Jules Verne

... the train right here," says Dan, but I kinder knew That underneath them snowdrifts we would find a thing or two; Fer he'd writ on that there paper, "Been lost fer hours,—all hope is past. You'll find me, boys, where my handkerchief is flyin' at half-mast." ...
— Flint and Feather • E. Pauline Johnson

... and then, without a word, he turns and jogs along back to his train, and takes up a humble position under the hindmost wagon, and feels unspeakably mean, and looks ashamed, and hangs his tail at half-mast for a week. And for as much as a year after that, whenever there is a great hue and cry after a cayote, that dog will merely glance in that direction without emotion, and apparently observe to himself, "I believe I do not wish any of ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... town was half-mast high, multitudes thronged the streets, and every window and balcony was crowded. Every head was uncovered. The procession wound its way from the Palazzo Gosleth down the declivity into the city under a bright sun pouring down its full beams, and ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... the people that Washington was dead, the whole country went into deepest mourning. In Europe, the sorrow was true and sincere. The British fleets put their flags at half-mast and Napoleon ordered crepe put upon the banners of France. Though Washington was born and educated in America and belongs truly to Americans, he was such a friend to humanity, such a champion of liberty, that the whole world claims ...
— George Washington • Calista McCabe Courtenay

... The British flag flew half-mast from the Palace dome, and two others flew behind it; one the black and yellow banner of the hillsmen, the other the red and white pennant of the dead Dakoon. In the Palace yard a thousand men stood at attention, and at their head was Cushnan Di with fifty ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... the theatre, said he supposed that dancing girls wore their dresses at half-mast as a mark ...
— The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; • Various

... the Free State flag. The ceremony was a fiasco, however, as before the flag reached the top of the staff, the halyard, which had been secretly cut partly through by some loyalists, broke, so that the flag, flying a little above half-mast, could neither be hoisted properly nor hauled down again. Ultimately the Boers tied another flag on to the end of a long bamboo, and sent that up instead. The Mayor endeavoured, in impassioned periods, to address the loyal inhabitants, but ...
— South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 2 (of 6) - From the Commencement of the War to the Battle of Colenso, - 15th Dec. 1899 • Louis Creswicke

... the hour for which were fixed by Bonifacio for August twenty-sixth, 1896, at six o'clock sharp in the evening, since lack of precision in his magnificent programs was never a fault of that bold patriot, his logic being as severe as that of the Filipino policeman who put the flag at half-mast on Good Friday. ...
— The Social Cancer - A Complete English Version of Noli Me Tangere • Jose Rizal

... reflected the sadness of those in the valley. Sacred music sounded from Parnassus to comfort all who heard; the brown cottage was beseiged with gifts for the little mourner, and Emil's flag hung at half-mast on the roof where he last ...
— Jo's Boys • Louisa May Alcott

... national bereavement, I direct that the diplomatic representatives of the United States in all foreign countries display the flags over their embassies and legations at half-mast for ten days; that for a like period the flag of the United States be displayed at half-mast at all forts and military posts and at all naval stations and on all ...
— Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Volume 8, Section 2 (of 2): Grover Cleveland • Grover Cleveland

... private. He consigned his soul, in set terms, to the devil, if any other man than myself should be allowed to make a priest's palaver-box of the Saucy Sally, and sulkily retired, rolling his quid with indefatigable energy, and squirting jets of spittle half-mast high. ...
— Tales from Blackwood, Volume 7 • Various

... step—after having, as we may say, set our flag at half-mast—is one which, if all we hear be true, should come easily to women in council, namely, talking. And talking we must have, even if, as in the social game called "Throwing Light," much of it is done ...
— A Domestic Problem • Abby Morton Diaz

... women and children running to the pier. Several of the women have babies in their hoods. There must be something of special interest. Yes, the fishermen from the schooner are coming ashore in their boat, and I perceive their flag is flying half-mast high, indicating a death aboard their vessel. They came into the bay yesterday, piloted by some of our Eskimoes, and bringing a dying comrade. Their request for medicine was at once granted, but the poor man lay unconscious. His "mates" said he had not lacked spiritual ...
— With the Harmony to Labrador - Notes Of A Visit To The Moravian Mission Stations On The North-East - Coast Of Labrador • Benjamin La Trobe

... books scattered around. Their remains, with those found at Cook's River, were carefully interred in a grave on the beach—the funeral service being read by one of the lieutenants. The colours of the ship and boats were struck half-mast, and three volleys of musketry fired over the graves. The journals—not a word of which was, as I have said, rendered illegible—were carefully forwarded to England, and, like voices from the grave, have ...
— A Voyage round the World - A book for boys • W.H.G. Kingston

... was celebrated by firing signal guns for twenty-four hours. Then Lincoln's death was honored by all flags half-mast and firing one-half-hour ...
— The Southern Soldier Boy - A Thousand Shots for the Confederacy • James Carson Elliott

... on February 4, 1806. The commanding officer of H.M. Armed vessel Sentinel was lying in Shields harbour. He sent word to a man named Stephen Mitchell, who caused the watch of the Revenue cutter Eagle to hoist the Eagle's pendant half-mast. Mitchell naturally replied that he dared not do so without his captain's orders. Mitchell, therefore, sent to his captain, George Whitehead, but before the latter's arrival the pendant was hauled down and carried on board the Sentinel with threats that Whitehead should be prosecuted for ...
— King's Cutters and Smugglers 1700-1855 • E. Keble Chatterton

... suggestions of strife. But they knew that within their sheltered harbor their waiting galleys rode at anchor, ready to sail at a moment's notice—for Venice, for Rome, for Egypt—though the flags they bore were still at half-mast, with their King but a ...
— The Royal Pawn of Venice - A Romance of Cyprus • Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull

... was put on board the yacht "Hallena" at Rome, and Captain Hall with his flag at half-mast steamed towards America with the woman, who could never on earth accept the tribute of his heart. Leo, now Marquis Colonna, true chevalier that he was, insisted that he be permitted to accompany Colonel Harris to Amsterdam in search ...
— The Harris-Ingram Experiment • Charles E. Bolton

... and framed a Declaration of Rights, and a petition to the king and Parliament. The 1st of November, appointed for the law to go into effect, was observed as a day of mourning. Bells were tolled, flags raised at half-mast, and ...
— A Brief History of the United States • Barnes & Co.

... bell strikes an attitood, with fore paws danglin' at half-mast, to be admired by a dandifide lot of Tommynoodles of the opposite sects, the opinion of this ere cort is, that insted of Greshun bend, it had orter be ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 16, July 16, 1870 • Various

... "Droop half-mast colors, bow, bareheaded crowds, As this plain coffin o'er the side is slung, To pass by woods of masts and ratlined shrouds, As erst by Afric's ...
— The Personal Life Of David Livingstone • William Garden Blaikie

... Half-mast upon her flagstaff hung her flag; Word went among us how the broken spar Had gored her captain like an angry stag, And killed her mate a ...
— Georgian Poetry 1913-15 • Edited by E. M. (Sir Edward Howard Marsh)

... despite the anxiety and shrewdness which was so apparent in them. She loved a gossip, too, with such a neighbour as Mrs. Wright; and as they both had similar anxieties when the boats were delayed by stress of weather, or when a flag was noticed at half-mast, it was no wonder that Mere Bricolin did not appear to mind the steep ascent to Mrs. Wright's dwelling. There was another reason for her activity. Was it not she who suggested that Mrs. Wright should ...
— Chatterbox, 1906 • Various

... The sun was half-mast high in the heavens as Imam Bakar crossed the river to Pasir Tambang in his tiny dug-out. Until the sun's rays fall more or less perpendicularly, the slanting light paints broad reaches of water a brilliant dazzling white, unrelieved by shadow or reflection. The green of the ...
— In Court and Kampong - Being Tales and Sketches of Native Life in the Malay Peninsula • Hugh Clifford

... heart of things, and he has put off the satirist and the iconoclast. But there is in his thought an incompressible energy of revolt. A pessimist in contemplation, he remains a meliorist in action. He is not, like Mr. Hardy, content to let the flag droop half-mast high; his protagonist still runs it up to the mast-head, and looks forward steadily to the "heavy day of work" before him. But although the note of the conclusion is resolute, almost serene, the play remains none the less an indictment of Nature, ...
— Little Eyolf • Henrik Ibsen

... navy also issued orders in accordance with the resolutions of Congress and the direction of the president. Vessels in domestic and foreign ports were ordered to "be put in mourning for one week, by wearing their colors half-mast high," and the officers and marines were directed to wear crape on the left ...
— Washington and the American Republic, Vol. 3. • Benson J. Lossing

... mortal man never feel to his fellow, forbade me to assist him. He had fainted; but the cold air soon revived him, and he arose, complaining of sudden illness. The sailors left us, and the ship sailed slowly from our waters, with her colours floating sadly half-mast high. ...
— Sketches And Tales Illustrative Of Life In The Backwoods Of New Brunswick • Mrs. F. Beavan

... be reckoned up, several good vessels were discovered to be missing, but the rotten old Rainbow still remained undestroyed though not unscathed, and a sad sight met the eyes of the men of the fleet when daylight revealed the fact that some of the smacks had their flags flying half-mast, indicating that many men had been washed overboard ...
— The Young Trawler • R.M. Ballantyne

... the President's instructions, it is hereby directed that the ensign at each naval station and of each vessel of the United States Navy in commission be hoisted at half-mast, and that a gun be fired at intervals of every half hour from sunrise to sunset at each naval station and on board of flagships and of vessels acting singly on the day of the funeral, where this order may be received in time, otherwise on the ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 3 (of 3) of Volume 8: Grover Cleveland, First Term. • Grover Cleveland

... and the prau behaved very well. Our small boat (purchased at Gani) was towing astern, and soon got full of water, so that it broke away and we saw no more of it. In about an hour the fury of the wind abated a little, and in two more we were able to hoist our mainsail, reefed and half-mast high. Towards evening it cleared up and fell calm, and the sea, which had been rather high, soon went down. Not being much of a seaman myself I had been considerably alarmed, and even the old steersman ...
— The Malay Archipelago - Volume II. (of II.) • Alfred Russel Wallace



Words linked to "Half-mast" :   place, position



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