absolutely and without qualification: Our offer was flatly rejected.
without vitality or animation: He spoke flatly about the death of his wife.
in a level, even, or smooth manner: Apply the tape flatly to the pipe.

Origin of flatly

First recorded in 1560–70; flat1 + -ly
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flatly

Contemporary Examples of flatly

Historical Examples of flatly

  • But at the same time he flatly declined to give a certificate.

  • That I flatly refused to do, for it would have made a beggar of me.

    Albert Durer

    T. Sturge Moore

  • "Beyond our recommendation, you mean," said the Lyran flatly.

    Join Our Gang?

    Sterling E. Lanier

  • Then he began to lie, and told them flatly that he had promised nothing at all.

  • At dessert Laurent placed his elbows on the table, and flatly asked her for 5,000 francs.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

Word Origin and History for flatly

early 15c., in a literal sense, from flat (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning "in a plain manner" is from 1560s; sense of "in a dull manner" is from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper