Flagship is one of many words that originated as naval terms. We will examine the definition of flagship, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A flagship is the most important, impressive, largest or finest example of something in a chain, series or group. Some examples of the use of the word flagship in this sense are flagship store, flagship radio station and flagship brand. The original meaning of flagship is the ship on which the commanding officer of a group of naval ships sails, due to the fact that this vessel flies a particular flag. This definition of the word flagship has been in use since the 1670s. The figurative meaning of the word flagship came into use in the mid-1930s. The plural form of flagship is flagships. Note that flagship is a closed compound word, which is a word derived from two separate words joined together without a space between them.


Photos captured outside the flagship store—which opened its doors to the public on October 20—show large icicles hanging from the roof, surrounded by caution tape, with signs that read “CAUTION—Watch for Falling Snow and Ice.” (Newsweek Magazine)

Every year, that becomes more challenging. About 35,000 prospective students applied to the state’s flagship school in Gainesville during the fall 2017 admission cycle. (The Washington Post)

General Electric’s flagship gas turbines ran into problems in Pakistan earlier this year, leading to delays and lengthy outages at three newly built power stations, according to several senior Pakistani officials and power executives. (Reuters)

After the flagship branch has been remodeled, F&M plans to update its other branches in Elk Grove, Galt and Turlock in 2018, said Christy Newport, vice president of corporate real estate development and construction. (Lodi Sentinel-News)

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