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
Related formsflat·ly, adverbflat·ness, nounun·flat·ted, adjective
Definition for flats (2 of 2)
Origin of flat2
Examples from the Web for flats
One that they cannot cash in at the bank to pay for their flats.One Vogue Cover Doesn’t Solve Fashion’s Big Race Problem|Danielle Belton|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Real estate was a hot investment for the moneyed of China, but as the market cooled down in many cities, flats were left empty.China’s Concubine Culture Lives On in Mistress Villages|Brendon Hong|April 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Feather had recorded as a pianist, and although he would never put Oscar Peterson out of business, he knew his sharps and flats.Music Criticism Has Degenerated Into Lifestyle Reporting|Ted Gioia|March 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The wounded warrior in front of me rode so well, and so fast, dusting me in the flats, that for a while I forgot he was a veteran.At the Wounded Warrior 100K, How George W. Bush Really Rolls|Mark McKinnon|May 26, 2013|DAILY BEAST
I shuffle through the sheet music, avoiding tunes in keys with more than two sharps or flats, until I hit on “Old Shanghai.”Beck’s Album ‘Song Reader’ Is All Sheet Music. We Take It for a Spin|Malcolm Jones|December 29, 2012|DAILY BEAST
When people live in flats, it is essential that they show some consideration for their neighbours.The Lady of the Basement Flat|Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
The barn that had been set on fire stood on the flats, below the cliff, and fully half a mile away from the Nest.The Chainbearer|J. Fenimore Cooper
In the first place, there are in all large towns almost enough empty houses and flats to lodge all the inhabitants of the slums.The Conquest of Bread|Peter Kropotkin
But no darter of mine should go out past the flats in one of 'em if I had the say.The Rise of Roscoe Paine|Joseph C. Lincoln
A “chromatic scale” is thus a series of semi-tones, and is commonly written with sharps in ascending and flats descending.
British Dictionary definitions for flats (1 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for flats (2 of 3)
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
Derived Formsflatly, adverbflatness, noun
Word Origin for flat
British Dictionary definitions for flats (3 of 3)
verb flats, flatting or flatted (intr)
Word Origin for flat
Idioms and Phrases with flats
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