AskDefine | Define flatter

Dictionary Definition

flat adj
1 having a horizontal surface in which no part is higher or lower than another; "a flat desk"; "acres of level farmland"; "a plane surface" [syn: level, plane]
2 having no depth or thickness
3 not modified or restricted by reservations; "a categorical denial"; "a flat refusal" [syn: categoric, categorical, unconditional]
4 stretched out and lying at full length along the ground; "found himself lying flat on the floor" [syn: prostrate]
5 lacking contrast or shading between tones [ant: contrasty]
6 lowered in pitch by one chromatic semitone; "B flat" [ant: natural, sharp]
7 flattened laterally along the whole length (e.g., certain leafstalks or flatfishes) [syn: compressed]
8 lacking taste or flavor or tang; "a bland diet"; "insipid hospital food"; "flavorless supermarket tomatoes"; "vapid beer"; "vapid tea" [syn: bland, flavorless, flavourless, insipid, savorless, savourless, vapid]
9 lacking stimulating characteristics; uninteresting; "a bland little drama"; "a flat joke" [syn: bland]
10 having lost effervescence; "flat beer"; "a flat cola"
11 not increasing as the amount taxed increases [syn: fixed]
12 not made with leavening; "most flat breads are made from unleavened dough" [syn: unraised]
13 parallel to the ground; "a flat roof"
14 without pleats [syn: unpleated]
15 lacking the expected range or depth; not designed to give an illusion or depth; "a film with two-dimensional characters"; "a flat two-dimensional painting" [syn: two-dimensional]
16 (of a tire) completely or partially deflated
17 not reflecting light; not glossy; "flat wall paint"; "a photograph with a matte finish" [syn: mat, matt, matte, matted]
18 lacking variety in shading; "a flat unshaded painting"


1 a level tract of land
2 a shallow box in which seedlings are started
3 a musical notation indicating one half step lower than the note named
4 freight car without permanent sides or roof [syn: flatcar, flatbed]
5 a deflated pneumatic tire [syn: flat tire]
6 scenery consisting of a wooden frame covered with painted canvas; part of a stage setting
7 a suite of rooms usually on one floor of an apartment house [syn: apartment] adv
1 at full length; "he fell flat on his face"
2 with flat sails; "sail flat against the wind"
3 below the proper pitch; "she sang flat last night"
4 against a flat surface; "he lay flat on his back"
5 in a forthright manner; candidly or frankly; "he didn't answer directly"; "told me straight out"; "came out flat for less work and more pay" [syn: directly, straight] [ant: indirectly]
6 wholly or completely; "He is flat broke" [also: flatting, flatted, flattest, flatter]flatter v : praise somewhat dishonestly [syn: blandish] [ant: disparage]flatter See flat

User Contributed Dictionary




flatter (comparative)
  1. comparative of flat


  1. A type of hammer used by blacksmiths.
  2. Someone who flattens, purposely or accidently. Also flattener.


(transitive and intransitive)
  1. To compliment someone, often insincerely and sometimes to win favour
  2. To enhance someone's vanity by praising them
  3. To portray something to advantage. To convey notions of the facts that are believed to be favorable to the hearer without certainty of the truthfulness of the notions conveyed.

Related terms


To compliment someone
  • Czech: lichotit, pochlebovat
  • German: schmeicheln
  • Spanish: adular
To enhance someone's vanity
  • German: anbiedern, einschmeicheln
To portray something to advantage
  • German: anbiedern

Extensive Definition

Flattery or adulation is the act of giving excessive compliments, generally for the purpose of ingratiating oneself with the subject. Flattery often, but not always, connotes insincerity.
Historically, flattery has been used as a standard form of discourse when addressing a king or queen. In the Renaissance, it was a common practice among writers to flatter the reigning monarch, as Edmund Spenser flattered Queen Elizabeth I in The Faerie Queene and William Shakespeare flattered King James I in Macbeth.
Flattery is also used in pick-up lines used to attempt to initiate romantic courtship.
Most associations with flattery, however, are negative. Flatterers are sometimes described by pejorative phrases, such as "suck-up", "ass-kisser", or "brown-noser". Negative descriptions of flattery range at least as far back in history as The Bible.
An insincere flatterer is a stock character in many literary works. Examples include Wormtongue from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Goneril and Regan from King Lear, and Iago from Othello.
"To flatter" is also used to refer to artwork or clothing that makes the subject or wearer appear more attractive, as in:
  • The King was pleased with the portrait, as it was very flattering of his girth.
  • I think I'll wear the green dress because it flatters my legs.
flatter in Portuguese: Adulação

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

adorn, adulate, apotheosize, beautify, become, beguile, belaud, bend the knee, bepraise, beslobber, beslubber, blandish, bless, blow up, boast of, bootlick, bow, bow and scrape, brag about, brown-nose, butter up, cajole, celebrate, coax, complement, compliment, conceit, court, cower, crawl, creep, cringe, crouch, cry up, decorate, deify, embellish, emblazon, enhance, eulogize, exalt, extol, fawn, fawn upon, finish, flannel, glorify, grovel, hero-worship, idolize, inveigle, kneel, kowtow, laud, lick the dust, lickspittle, lionize, magnify, make fair weather, make much of, oil, oil the tongue, ornament, overpraise, palaver, panegyrize, pay tribute, perfect, play up to, porter aux nues, praise, puff, puff up, salute, shine up to, slobber over, soft-soap, stoop, suck up to, suit, sweet-talk, toadeat, toady, toady to, truckle, truckle to, trumpet, wheedle
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