An example of flatter is to tell someone that she looks pretty today.
- to praise too much, untruly, or insincerely, as in order to win favor
- to try to please, or ingratiate oneself with, by praise and attention
- to make seem better or more attractive than is so: his portrait flatters him
- to make feel pleased or honored; gratify the vanity of: it's flattering to be remembered
- to please or gratify (the eye, ear, senses, etc.)
- to encourage, esp. falsely
Origin of flatterMiddle English flateren ; from Old French flater, to smooth, caress with flat hand ; from Frankish an unverified form flat, akin to Old High German flaz, flat
- a person who flattens something
- a drawplate for forming flat strips
- a smith's forging tool with a broad, flat face
verbflat·tered, flat·ter·ing, flat·ters
- To compliment excessively and often insincerely, especially in order to win favor.
- To please or gratify the vanity of: “What really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering” (George Bernard Shaw).
- a. To portray favorably: a photograph that flatters its subject.b. To show off becomingly or advantageously.
Origin of flatterMiddle English flateren, from Old French flater, of Germanic origin; see plat- in Indo-European roots.
- A flat-faced swage or hammer used by blacksmiths.
- A die plate for flattening metal into strips, as in the manufacture of watch springs.
- comparative form of flat: more flat
flat + -er
(third-person singular simple present flatters, present participle flattering, simple past and past participle flattered) (transitive and intransitive)
- to compliment someone, often insincerely and sometimes to win favour
- to enhance someone's vanity by praising them
- to portray something to advantage.
- Her portrait flatters her.
- to convey notions of the facts that are believed to be favorable to the hearer without certainty of the truthfulness of the notions conveyed.
From Middle French flatter (“to flatter, to caress with the flat of the hand”), from Old French flater (“to deceive by concealing the truth, to stroke with the palm of the hand”), from Frankish *flat (“palm, flat of the hand”), from Proto-Germanic *flatą, *flatō (“palm, sole”), *flataz (“flat”), from Proto-Indo-European *plÁt-, *pele-, *plet-, *plāk- (“flat, broad, plain”). Cognate with Old High German flazza (“palm, flat of the hand”), Old High German flaz (“level, flat”), Old Saxon flat (“flat”), Old Norse flatr (“flat”) (whence English flat), Old Frisian flet, flette (“dwelling, house”), Old English flet, flett (“ground floor, dwelling”). More at flat.