- to try to please by complimentary remarks or attention.
- to praise or compliment insincerely, effusively, or excessively: She flatters him by constantly praising his books.
- to represent favorably; gratify by falsification: The portrait flatters her.
- to show to advantage: a hairstyle that flatters the face.
- to play upon the vanity or susceptibilities of; cajole, wheedle, or beguile: They flattered him into contributing heavily to the foundation.
- to please or gratify by compliments or attentions: I was flattered by their invitation.
- to feel satisfaction with (oneself), especially with reference to an accomplishment, act, or occasion: He flattered himself that the dinner had gone well.
- to beguile with hope; encourage prematurely, falsely, etc.
- to use flattery.
Origin of flatter1
Examples from the Web for flattering
Once in power, they often hired gifted artists to portray them in flattering and benevolent poses.Great Renaissance Art Thrived Amid Filth
December 3, 2014
For the most part, however, the day was all about flattering the assembled—even as they were urged to never, ever, ever give up.Tea Party Is 5! No More Tantrums?
February 28, 2014
This noble effort won Letta the flattering honor of having “balls of steel”.Florentine Mayor Matteo Renzi to Lead Italy
Barbie Latza Nadeau
February 14, 2014
Such a portrayal may have been flattering to Sorensen, or somehow psychologically soothing to the former aide.How the Left Spun the Kennedy Myth
November 10, 2013
Roitfeld says seeing a film about her directed by someone else was flattering and eye-opening.Carine Roitfeld Documentary ‘Mademoiselle C’ Offers Intimate Look
September 11, 2013
She was bending forward, smiling, flattering her escort with the adoration of her eyes.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
Europe may enslave Asia, because it is flattering: but Europe must not free Asia, because that is responsible.Alarms and Discursions
G. K. Chesterton
Oh, counshillor, now, if you wouldn't be flattering a wake woman.Tales And Novels, Volume 8 (of 10)
The reception of the news by the other evening papers was most flattering.
I take it as the reverse of flattering to be supposed that I have any liking for such a ninny as you are.
- to praise insincerely, esp in order to win favour or reward
- to show to advantagethat dress flatters her
- (tr) to make to appear more attractive, etc, than in reality
- to play upon or gratify the vanity of (a person)it flatters her to be remembered
- (tr) to beguile with hope; encourage, esp falselythis success flattered him into believing himself a champion
- (tr) to congratulate or deceive (oneself)I flatter myself that I am the best
- a blacksmith's tool, resembling a flat-faced hammer, that is placed on forged work and struck to smooth the surface of the forging
- a die with a narrow rectangular orifice for drawing flat sections
Word Origin and History for flattering
late 14c., "pleasing to the imagination," present participle adjective from flatter. Meaning "gratifying to self-esteem" is from 1757. Related: Flatteringly.
early 13c., from Old French flater "to flatter" (13c.), originally "stroke with the hand, caress," from Frankish *flat "palm, flat of the hand" (see flat (adj.)). "[O]ne of many imitative verbs beginning with fl- and denoting unsteady or light, repeated movement" [Liberman]. Related: Flattered; flattering.