horizontally level:a flat roof.
level, even, or without unevenness of surface, as land or tabletops.
having a surface that is without marked projections or depressions: a broad, flat face.
lying horizontally and at full length, as a person; prostrate: He was flat on the canvas after the knockdown.
lying wholly on or against something: The banner was flat against the wall.
thrown down, laid low, or level with the ground, as fallen trees or buildings.
having a generally level shape or appearance; not deep or thick: a flat plate.
(of the heel of a shoe) low and broad.
spread out, as an unrolled map or the open hand.
deflated; collapsed: a flat tire.
absolute, downright, or positive; without qualification: a flat denial.
without modification or variation: a flat rate.
Informal. lacking money; broke.
without vitality or animation; lifeless; dull: flat writing.
having lost its flavor, sharpness, or life, as wine or food; stale.
(of a beverage) having lost its effervescence.
without flavor; not spiced: flat cooking.
prosaic, banal, or insipid: a flat style.
pointless, as a remark or joke.
commercially inactive: a flat day in the stock market.
(of a painting) not having the illusion of volume or depth.
(of a photograph or painting) lacking contrast or gradations of tone or color.
(of paint) without gloss; not shiny; mat.
not clear, sharp, or ringing, as sound or a voice.
lacking resonance and variation in pitch; monotonous: a flat delivery of the speech.
(of a tone) lowered a half step in pitch: B flat.
below an intended pitch, as a note; too low (opposed to sharp).
Grammar. derived without change in form, as English to brush from the noun brush and adverbs that do not add -ly to the adjective form as fast, cheap, and slow.
Phonetics. lenis; voiced.
Nautical. (of a sail)
cut with little or no fullness.
trimmed as nearly fore-and-aft as possible, for sailing to windward.
flat a, the a-sound (a) of glad, bat, or act.
a shoe, especially a woman's shoe, with a flat heel or no heel.
a flat surface, side, or part of anything: He struck me with the flat of his hand.
flat or level ground; a flat area: salt flats.
a marsh, shoal, or shallow.
(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.
Theater. a piece of scenery consisting of a wooden frame, usually rectangular, covered with lightweight board or fabric.
a broad, thin book, chiefly for children: a juvenile flat.
Informal. a deflated automobile tire.
(in postal use) a large flat package, as in a manila envelope, for mailing.
Architecture. a flat roof or deck.
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.
an iron or steel bar of rectangular cross section.
Textiles. one of a series of laths covered with card clothing, used in conjunction with the cylinder in carding.
Photography. one or more negatives or positives in position to be reproduced.
Printing. a device for holding a negative or positive flat for reproduction by photoengraving.
Horticulture. a shallow, lidless box or tray used for rooting seeds and cuttings and for growing young plants.
a similar box used for shipping and selling fruits and vegetables.
Football. the area of the field immediately inside of or outside of an offensive end, close behind or at the line of scrimmage.
flats, Informal. flat races between horses.: Compare flat race.
to make flat.
Music. to lower (a pitch), especially one half step.
to become flat.
in a flat position; horizontally; levelly.
in a flat manner; positively; absolutely.
completely; utterly: flat broke.
exactly; precisely: She ran around the track in two minutes flat.
Music. below the true pitch: to sing flat.
Finance. without interest.
flat in, Nautical. to pull the clew of (a fore-and-aft sail) as nearly amidships as possible.: Also flatten in.
Idioms about flat
fall flat, to fail to produce the desired effect; fail completely: His attempts at humor fell flat.
flat aft, Nautical. trimmed so that fore-and-aft sails present as flat a surface as possible, as in sailing close to the wind.
flat on one's back. back1 (def. 48).
flat out, Informal.
without hesitation; directly or openly: He told us flat out he'd been a double agent.
at full speed or with maximum effort.
- flatly, adverb
- flatness, noun
- un·flat·ted, adjective
Other definitions for flat (2 of 2)
an apartment or suite of rooms on one floor forming a residence.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use flat in a sentence
Print advertisements for Quaker Rice Cakes from that period show thin, grinning models lying on their flat leotard-covered stomachs to emphasize the lightness of rice cakes.The Rise and Fall of the Rice Cake, America’s One-Time Favorite Health Snack | Brenna Houck | September 17, 2020 | Eater
Unlike the flat disk that gave rise to the planets in our own Solar System, the system’s disk consists of three misaligned rings.A strange dusty disk could hide a planet betwixt three stars | Paola Rosa-Aquino | September 11, 2020 | Popular-Science
It uses technology well, including flat-screen monitors that connect to the Internet and Bluetooth headphones.Peloton races to the future, but it’s still no tech company | Adam Lashinsky | September 11, 2020 | Fortune
The catch included two tiny species with coiled shells about 1 millimeter across, four midsize species with long, conical or urn-shaped shells of about 7 to 11 millimeters, and one species with a flat shell up to 14 millimeters across.Sea butterflies’ shells determine how the snails swim | Maria Temming | September 8, 2020 | Science News
It combines the functionality of a suitcase and the durability of a duffel, with structured sides and interior pockets for ample gear hauling, a flat-bottom design that enables it to stand, and sturdy, oversize wheels.
Luckily enough I have this dedicated flat that is just along from my house that I go to every day.
There were stomachs, taut and flat, but also undulating bellies, soft and bloated from the breakfast buffet.Powerful Congressman Writes About ‘Fleshy Breasts’ | Asawin Suebsaeng | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
The program—weirdly—is now under the umbrella of ABC News, and is suffering from flat ratings and an aging demographic.
Another sent back a flat-screen television with a bona fide tombstone within.The Insane $11 Billion Scam at Retailers’ Return Desks | M.L. Nestel | December 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Hitchcock settled in southern California, leaving behind a flat in London and a country house in Shamley Green.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days | David Freeman | December 13, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Why not have sought out the pure white lime-rocks of the flat country, or the grey granite of the hills?
Then the roof itself, with its gables and dormer windows, softly folded itself flat down upon the top of the house, out of sight.Davy and The Goblin | Charles E. Carryl
Instead of writing slander and flat blasphemy, they propose to draw it, and not draw it mild.
There is no other way but fresh blood for it is sheer human nature to feel flat after an effort.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
The hills disappear some miles above this city, and henceforward to the sea all is flat and tame as a marsh.Glances at Europe | Horace Greeley
British Dictionary definitions for flat (1 of 2)
horizontal; level: flat ground; a flat roof
even or smooth, without projections or depressions: a flat surface
lying stretched out at full length; prostrate: he lay flat on the ground
having little depth or thickness; shallow: a flat dish
(postpositive often foll by against) having a surface or side in complete contact with another surface: flat against the wall
spread out, unrolled, or levelled
(of a tyre) deflated, either partially or completely
(of shoes) having an unraised or only slightly raised heel
(of races, racetracks, or racecourses) not having obstacles to be jumped
of, relating to, or connected with flat racing as opposed to steeplechasing and hurdling: flat jockeys earn more
without qualification; total: a flat denial
without possibility of change; fixed: a flat rate
(prenominal or immediately postpositive) neither more nor less; exact: he did the journey in thirty minutes flat; a flat thirty minutes
unexciting or lacking point or interest: a flat joke
without variation or resonance; monotonous: a flat voice
(of food) stale or tasteless
(of beer, sparkling wines, etc) having lost effervescence, as by exposure to air
(of trade, business, a market, etc) commercially inactive; sluggish
(of a battery) fully discharged; dead
(of a print, photograph, or painting) lacking contrast or shading between tones
(of paint) without gloss or lustre; matt
(of a painting) lacking perspective
(of lighting) diffuse
(immediately postpositive) denoting a note of a given letter name (or the sound it represents) that has been lowered in pitch by one chromatic semitone: B flat
(of an instrument, voice, etc) out of tune by being too low in pitch: Compare sharp (def. 12)
phonetics another word for lenis
flat a phonetics the vowel sound of a as in the usual US or S Brit pronunciation of hand, cat, usually represented by the symbol (æ)
in or into a prostrate, level, or flat state or position: he held his hand out flat
completely or utterly; absolutely: he went flat against the rules
exactly; precisely: in three minutes flat
lower than a standard pitch
too low in pitch: she sings flat Compare sharp (def. 18)
fall flat to fail to achieve a desired effect, etc
flat out informal
with the maximum speed or effort
a flat object, surface, or part
(often plural) a low-lying tract of land, esp a marsh or swamp
(often plural) a mud bank exposed at low tide
an accidental that lowers the pitch of the following note by one chromatic semitone: Usual symbol: ♭
a note affected by this accidental: Compare sharp (def. 19)
theatre a rectangular wooden frame covered with painted canvas, etc, used to form part of a stage setting
a punctured car tyre
the flat mainly British ((often cap.))
flat racing, esp as opposed to steeplechasing and hurdling
the season of flat racing
nautical a flatboat or lighter
US and Canadian a shallow box or container, used for holding plants, growing seedlings, etc
to make or become flat
music the usual US word for flatten (def. 3)
- See also flats
- flatly, adverb
- flatness, noun
British Dictionary definitions for flat (2 of 2)
a set of rooms comprising a residence entirely on one floor of a building: Usual US and Canadian name: apartment
British and NZ a portion of a house used as separate living quarters
NZ a house shared with people who are not members of one's own family
Australian and NZ to live in a flat (with someone)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Other Idioms and Phrases with flat
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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.