Flagship – Meaning & Definition

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Sometimes, we combine two or more words to form a new one with a different meaning. One example is the term flagship. Sure, it’s not as common as other closed compounds, but it’s definitely worth talking about.

What is a flagship? How do you properly use it in a sentence? Keep reading to learn the definition and examples of the noun flagship.

Flagship Meaning

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Flagship is a closed compound word whose meaning isn’t literally a flag on the ship. Instead, it is the biggest and most important representative of something in a group, series, or chain. It’s also the first of anything. We usually use this term for stores, products, and more.

We often use flagship before another noun. Some examples include flagship store and flagship station.

Flagship is also a noun that refers to a ship that’s carrying the commander of a fleet or subdivision of a fleet and flies the commander’s flag. For instance, we can say the flagship of the Atlantic fleet.

Flagship Origin

Flagship Ngram
Flagship usage trend.

Before the phrases flagship brand, flagship radio station, and flagship store, flagship was a term for the ship where the commanding officer of a group of naval ships sailed in the 1670s. A flag was visible to distinguish it from the others. The change in meaning only occurred during the mid-1930s.

The compound word comes from flag, which means a piece of cloth attachable by one edge to symbolize something, and ship, which is a seagoing vessel.

Is It Flag Ship or Flagship?

The correct term is flagship. It is a closed compound noun with no space and a hyphen.

Examples of Flagship in a Sentence

  • OnePlus has confirmed that its upcoming flagship Android smartphone is called the 11 today. The brand has also dropped an official preview clip that seems to confirm a premium design update in line with the device’s leaks to date. (Notebook Check)
  • Initial plans for the national flagship were introduced under Boris Johnson and the vessel was envisioned as a successor to the 126-meter Royal Yacht Britannia. (Boat International)
  • Xiaomi’s 13 series flagship smartphones are here, and as usual, they’re loaded with the latest technology and features. (Engadget)
  • It’s the time of year when many flagship phones are released, and to add to the excitement, it’s been reported that Lenovo’s subsidiary, Motorola, has released the new flagship phones for this year. (Tech Story)
  • At a launch event in China, Motorola dropped a new flagship called the Moto X40 with specs and pricing that border on impressive, being the first Motorola smartphone to adopt the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. (Hot Hardware)

Flagship Summary

Flagship has two meanings.

The first refers to a ship carrying the commander of a fleet, which was first used in the 1670s.

The second definition, which became popular in the 1930s, means the biggest and most important representative of something in a group, series, or chain. What other compound words do you wish to learn?

Want to know more compound words? Check out some others we covered: