- flat-joint pointing,
- flat-panel display,
- flat-plate collector,
Origin of flat-out
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.
Origin of flat1
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 a direct manner, bluntly. For example, He told the true story flat out. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
At top speed, as in She was running flat out to catch the train. [Slang; c. 1930]
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