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.
- flat arch,
- flat as a pancake,
- flat back,
- flat bond,
- flat bone
- 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
Examples from the Web for flatness
The incommunicable thrill of things, that is the tuning-fork by which we test the flatness of our art.Must Read Novels: Ballard, Dybek, and Krasznahorkai|Jacob Silverman, Malcolm Forbes, John McIntyre|April 23, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Would a cup set on its flatness, Mr. Cheermon, with rich a handle as k to it?K. K. K. Sketches, Humorous and Didactic|James Melville Beard
The flatness of the valley's mouth presently changes into a gentle slope.The Alps|Martin Conway
The crumbling, cliff-like bank on her left showed a rent in which a faint track rose sharply to the flatness beyond.The Garden Of Allah|Robert Hichens
The results of percussion are significant in the movement it causes in the fluid, and for the resonance or flatness it produces.
The flatness of their country afforded no chance for painting fine landscapes.
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