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.
Variant of flat
- having a smooth, level surface; having little or no depression or elevation
- lying extended at full length
- spread out smooth and level
- touching at as many points as possible: with his back flat against the wall
- having little depth or thickness; broad, even, and thin
- having a flat heel or no heel: flat shoes
- designating or having an almost straight or level trajectory or flight
- absolute; positive: a flat denial
- not variable; fixed: a flat rate, a flat tax
- without much business activity: a flat market
- having little or no sparkle or taste; insipid: a flat drink
- having little or no interest; monotonous; dull
- not clear or full; blurred: a flat sound
- ☆ emptied of air: a flat tire
- ☆ Informal completely without money; penniless
- without gloss: flat paint
- lacking relief, depth, or perspective
- uniform in tint or shade
- not having the sign to: said of an infinitive: Ex.: go in “make it go”
- not having an inflectional ending: said esp. of certain adverbs: Ex.: he drove fast
- lower in pitch by a half step: D-flat (D)
- out of tune by being below the true or proper pitch
- Phonet. designating the vowel a when it represents the sound (a) as in had or hat, articulated with the tongue in a relatively level position
- Photog. lacking in contrast
Origin of flatMiddle English ; from Old Norse flatr, akin to Old High German flaz ; from Indo-European an unverified form plāt, plēt-, wide, flat (from source Classical Greek platys, broad, Old English flet, floor) ; from base an unverified form plā-, broad
- in a flat manner; flatly (in various senses)
- in a prone or supine position
- exactly; precisely: to run a race in ten seconds flat
- bluntly; abruptly: she left him flat
- ☆ Finance with no interest
- Music below the true or proper pitch
- a flat surface or part: the flat of the hand, of a sword, etc.
- an expanse of level land
- a low-lying marsh
- a shallow; shoal
- any of various flat things; specif.,
- a shallow box or container, as for growing seedlings
- ☆ flatcar
- a piece of theatrical scenery on a flat frame
- ☆ a deflated tire
- women's flat-heeled shoes or slippers
- Football the area flanking either end of the offensive line
- a note or tone one half step below another
- the sign () indicating such a note
- at full speed, with maximum effort, etc.
- clear(ly); definite(ly)