flatter

1
[ flat-er ]
/ ˈflæt ər /

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to use flattery.

Nearby words

  1. flatness,
  2. flats,
  3. flatscreen,
  4. flatstick,
  5. flatten,
  6. flatter oneself,
  7. flattered,
  8. flatterer,
  9. flattering,
  10. flattery

Origin of flatter

1
1175–1225; Middle English flat(t)eren to float, flutter, fawn upon, Old English floterian to float, flutter; for sense development, cf. flicker1, Old Norse flathra; reinforced by Old French flatter to flatter, literally, to stroke, caress (probably < Frankish *flat- flat1)

Related forms

flatter

2
[ flat-er ]
/ ˈflæt ər /

noun

a person or thing that makes something flat.
a flat-faced blacksmith's tool, laid on a forging and struck with a hammer to smooth the surface of the forging.
a drawplate with a flat orifice for drawing flat metal strips, as for watch springs.

Origin of flatter

2
First recorded in 1705–15; flat1 + -er1

Origin of flat

1
1275–1325; Middle English < Old Norse flatr, akin to Old English flet (see flat2), Greek platýs (see platy-, plate1

SYNONYMS FOR flat
1. plane. See level. 4. low, prone. 11. outright, peremptory, categorical. 14. boring, spiritless, prosaic. 17. vapid, unsavory.

Related formsflat·ly, adverbflat·ness, nounun·flat·ted, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flatter


British Dictionary definitions for flatter

flatter

1
/ (ˈflætə) /

verb

to praise insincerely, esp in order to win favour or reward
to show to advantagethat dress flatters her
(tr) to make to appear more attractive, etc, than in reality
to play upon or gratify the vanity of (a person)it flatters her to be remembered
(tr) to beguile with hope; encourage, esp falselythis success flattered him into believing himself a champion
(tr) to congratulate or deceive (oneself)I flatter myself that I am the best
Derived Formsflatterable, adjectiveflatterer, nounflatteringly, adverb

Word Origin for flatter

C13: probably from Old French flater to lick, fawn upon, of Frankish origin

noun

a blacksmith's tool, resembling a flat-faced hammer, that is placed on forged work and struck to smooth the surface of the forging
a die with a narrow rectangular orifice for drawing flat sections
See also flats

Derived Formsflatly, adverbflatness, noun

Word Origin for flat

C14: from Old Norse flatr; related to Old High German flaz flat, Greek platus flat, broad

flat

2
/ (flæt) /

noun

a set of rooms comprising a residence entirely on one floor of a buildingUsual 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

verb flats, flatting or flatted (intr)

Australian and NZ to live in a flat (with someone)

Word Origin for flat

Old English flett floor, hall, house; related to flat 1

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

Word Origin and History for flatter
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with flatter

flat

In addition to the idioms beginning with flat

  • flat as a pancake
  • flat broke
  • flat on one's back
  • flat out

also see:

  • 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.