View synonyms for flattering


[ flat-er-ing ]


  1. enhancing the appearance of a person or thing, as by highlighting pleasing features or making less pleasing ones inconspicuous:

    You'll receive expert advice on the most flattering shades of makeup for your complexion.

  2. causing a person or thing to seem better or more attractive than is really the case:

    She avoids the weakness of many memoirs by not creating an overly flattering picture of herself or her parents.

  3. pleasing or gratifying someone by attention or compliments:

    The publisher sent me a very flattering invitation to write a study of Robert Browning.

  4. praising or complimenting someone insincerely or excessively, especially in an attempt to curry favor:

    I’m a remarkably accurate judge of people’s character, and am not misled by flattering words or nice clothes.


  1. the act of attempting to curry favor by praising or complimenting someone insincerely or excessively:

    After a glass of cognac and much flattering and coaxing, he did finally grant our request.

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Other Words From

  • flat·ter·ing·ly adverb
  • half-flat·ter·ing adjective
  • half-flat·ter·ing·ly adverb
  • un·flat·ter·ing adjective
  • un·flat·ter·ing·ly adverb
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Word History and Origins

Origin of flattering1

First recorded in 1200–50; flatter 1( def ) + -ing 2( def ) for the adjective senses; flatter 1( def ) + -ing 1( def ) for the noun sense
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Example Sentences

In the years since, he has become the go-to designer for some of the most prominent women in the world, thanks to his career-long commitment to designing clothes that flatter all women, regardless of size or background.

From Time

A flatter script could have easily made Kylie the hard-edged instigator of most of the conflict between her and her mother, but O’Reilly always lets us see how much Kylie cares about her family beneath her ongoing frustration with her confinement.

From Vox

At a time when other Paris labels were obsessed with flattering the female form, Cardin’s designs cast the wearer as a sort of glorified hanger, there to showcase the clothes’ sharp shapes and graphic patterns.

From Fortune

I mean the notion that the artist’s job is not to entertain the audience or flatter its beliefs, not to praise the lord, the group, or the sports drink, but to speak a new truth.

I was more impressed when she nailed a few less flattering character traits.

Once in power, they often hired gifted artists to portray them in flattering and benevolent poses.

That is almost flattering to the incarcerated population, in my opinion.

For the most part, however, the day was all about flattering the assembled—even as they were urged to never, ever, ever give up.

This noble effort won Letta the flattering honor of having “balls of steel”.

Mrs. Kaye's expressive eyes, which had dwelt on Isabel with flattering attention, fell to the tip of her cigarette.

Naturally, the picture was not perfect, but it well merited the flattering reception which it received.

I was flattering myself that the puppy was choosing my company to the hunt, for I always value the approval of a dog.

She, of course, was received with the most flattering attention, and great deference was paid to her opinions.

This was very flattering to those ladies, especially the Diplomast, considering the great odds they had to contend with.


Related Words




flatteredflatter oneself