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noun, plural flat·ter·ies.
  1. the act of flattering.
  2. a flattering compliment or speech; excessive, insincere praise.
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Origin of flattery

1275–1325; Middle English flaterie < Middle French, equivalent to flat(er) to flatter + -erie -ery. Cf. flatter1


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2. sycophancy, toadying, fawning, pandering.


  1. Cape, a cape in NW Washington, on the Olympic Peninsula, at the entrance to Juan de Fuca Strait.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for flattery

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "Flattery to ourselves does not change the nature of what is wrong," answered Philothea.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • The request, thus aided by flattery, was almost unanimously granted.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • The singularity that struck me most about her ladyship was her indifference to flattery.

  • Therefore I give up all manner of claim to every thing but—flattery!

  • He clavers them over with flattery as the snake clavers the rabbit.

    American Notes

    Rudyard Kipling

British Dictionary definitions for flattery


noun plural -teries
  1. the act of flattering
  2. excessive or insincere praise
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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 flattery


early 14c., from Old French flaterie, from flater (see flatter).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper