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See also: half mast


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half-mast (uncountable)

  1. The lowered position, half the height of a mast, at which a flag is flown when mourning, especially expressing respect for the dead.
    • 2016 October 13, Department for Culture, Media & Sport and Foreign & Commonwealth Office, "Flag-flying from UK government buildings for the death of the King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand", GOV.UK, Government Digital Service:
      Any other UK national flags flown alongside the Union Flag when it is at half-mast should also be at half-mast.
    • 2023 November 2, “China mourns late ex-Premier Li Keqiang”, in Deutsche Welle[1], archived from the original on 02 November 2023, China‎[2]:
      He is to be cremated later Thursday at a ceremony likely to be attended by the country's top leadership.
      Flags were seen flying at half-mast in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. China's state news agency Xinhua reported that flags would be lowered at government buildings across mainland China, semi-autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau, and in consulates abroad.
  2. (by extension) The lowered position of any thing.
  3. (euphemistic, of a man) The state of being partially erect
    • 2009, Stephen Cannell, At First Sight: A Novel of Obsession, Vanguard Press, →ISBN, page 227:
      Finally, he was at half-mast, hanging out over the toilet seat, barely erect.