adjective, flat·ter, flat·test.
- (of a tone) lowered a half step in pitch: B flat.
- below an intended pitch, as a note; too low (opposed to sharp).
- cut with little or no fullness.
- trimmed as nearly fore-and-aft as possible, for sailing to windward.
- (in musical notation) the character ♭, which when attached to a note or to a staff degree lowers its significance one chromatic half step.
- a tone one chromatic half step below another: The flat of B is B flat.
- (on keyboard instruments, with reference to any given note) the key next below or to the left.
- Also called platform.a partial deck between two full decks.
- a low, flat barge or lighter.
- a broad, flat piece of iron or steel for overlapping and joining two plates at their edges.
- a straight timber in a frame or other assembly of generally curved timbers.
verb (used with object), flat·ted, flat·ting.
verb (used without object), flat·ted, flat·ting.
- without hesitation; directly or openly: He told us flat out he'd been a double agent.
- at full speed or with maximum effort.
Origin of flat1
Synonyms for flat
Antonyms for flat
Origin of flat2
Related Words for flathorizontal, unbroken, low, empty, bland, lifeless, stale, weak, dead, straight, suite, tenement, condo, walk-up, even, plane, pancake, flush, splay, oblate
Examples from the Web for flat
Contemporary Examples of flat
There were stomachs, taut and flat, but also undulating bellies, soft and bloated from the breakfast buffet.Powerful Congressman Writes About ‘Fleshy Breasts’
January 7, 2015
The program—weirdly—is now under the umbrella of ABC News, and is suffering from flat ratings and an aging demographic.The Bloodiest Media Coups of 2014
December 22, 2014
Hitchcock settled in southern California, leaving behind a flat in London and a country house in Shamley Green.
Then when we arrive at his flat in Shepherd's Bush following the escape, perhaps there ought to be remnants of the ladder.
In a bizarre twist to proceedings, Miss Manners sought to have her £30 cab fare from her Kensington flat to court refunded.How A British Aristocrat Used Big Game Hunter’s Sperm To Get Pregnant Without His Permission
December 2, 2014
Historical Examples of flat
Camped on a gully with some old feed in the flat, in latitude 27 degrees 49 minutes.Explorations in Australia
Sidney could hear her moving about with flat, inelastic steps.
When he found that the ice was out and the beer warm and flat, he was furious.
Linda laid her palm on the top of the sand heap and pressed it flat.Her Father's Daughter
I'd been cleaned out o' everything I had by a man I trusted, and I was flat broke.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
adjective flatter or flattest
- (of races, racetracks, or racecourses) not having obstacles to be jumped
- of, relating to, or connected with flat racing as opposed to steeplechasing and hurdlingflat jockeys earn more
- (immediately postpositive)denoting a note of a given letter name (or the sound it represents) that has been lowered in pitch by one chromatic semitoneB flat
- (of an instrument, voice, etc) out of tune by being too low in pitchCompare sharp (def. 12)
- lower than a standard pitch
- too low in pitchshe sings flat Compare sharp (def. 18)
- with the maximum speed or effort
- totally exhausted
- an accidental that lowers the pitch of the following note by one chromatic semitoneUsual symbol: ♭
- a note affected by this accidentalCompare sharp (def. 19)
- flat racing, esp as opposed to steeplechasing and hurdling
- the season of flat racing
verb flats, flatting or flatted
Word Origin for flat
verb flats, flatting or flatted (intr)
Word Origin for flat
early 14c., from Old Norse flatr, from Proto-Germanic *flataz (cf. Old Saxon flat "flat, shallow,: Old High German flaz "flat, level," Old English flet, Old High German flezzi "floor"), perhaps from PIE *plat- "to spread" (cf. Greek platys "broad, flat;" see plaice (n.)).
Sense of "prosaic, dull" is from 1570s; used of drink from c.1600; of musical notes from 1590s, because the tone is "lowered." Flat-out (adv.) "openly, directly" is from 1932; earlier it was a noun meaning "total failure" (1870, U.S. colloquial).
1801, from Scottish flat "floor or story of a house," from Old English flet "a dwelling, floor, ground," from the same source as flat (adj.).
In addition to the idioms beginning with flat
- flat as a pancake
- flat broke
- flat on one's back
- flat out
- caught flat-footed
- fall flat
- in no time (nothing flat)
- leave flat