flat

adjective
\ ˈflat How to pronounce flat (audio) \
flatter; flattest

Definition of flat

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : lying at full length or spread out upon the ground : prostrate The soldiers were lying flat on the ground.
b : utterly ruined or destroyed buildings flat from the blast
c : resting with a surface against something Push the chairs flat against the wall.
2a : having a continuous horizontal surface the flat landscape of the prairie
b : being or characterized by a horizontal line or tracing without peaks or depressions a flat EEG
3 : having a relatively smooth or even surface a flat computer disk
4 : arranged or laid out so as to be level or even maps flat on the desk
5a : having the major surfaces essentially parallel and distinctly greater than the minor surfaces a flat piece of wood
b of a shoe heel : very low and broad flat shoes for work
6a : clearly unmistakable a flat denial
b(1) : not varying : fixed a flat rate
(2) : having no fraction either lacking or in excess : exact in a flat 10 seconds
(3) of a frequency response : not varying significantly throughout its range
7a : lacking in animation, zest, or vigor : dull He spoke in a flat, tired voice.
b : lacking flavor : tasteless The stew is too flat.
c : lacking effervescence or sparkle flat ginger ale
d : commercially inactive also : characterized by no significant rise or decline from one period to another sales were flat
e of a tire : lacking air : deflated
f chiefly British, of a battery : dead sense 3c, discharged
8a(1) of a tone : lowered a half step in pitch
(2) : lower than the proper pitch
b of the vowel a : pronounced as in bad or bat
9a : having a low trajectory (see trajectory sense 1) made a flat pass that was intercepted
b of a tennis stroke : made so as to give little or no spin to the ball
10 : not having an inflectional ending flat adverbs
11 of a sail : taut
12a : uniform in hue or shade figures standing out against a background of flat wash
b : having little or no illusion of depth
c of a photograph or negative : lacking contrast
d of lighting conditions : lacking shadows or contours
e : free from gloss : having a nonreflective finish a flat paint
f : two-dimensional sense 3 flat characters
13 : of, relating to, or used in competition on the flat a flat horse
14 of a universe : having a mass such that expansion halts only after infinite time and collapse never occurs

flat

noun

Definition of flat (Entry 2 of 4)

1a : a level surface of land usually used in plural sagebrush flatstidal flats
b : a stretch of land without obstacles especially : a track or course for a flat race usually used with the has won twice on the flat
2 : a flat part or surface the flat of one's hand
3a : a musical note or tone one half step lower than a specified note or tone
b : a character ♭ on a line or space of the musical staff indicating a half step drop in pitch
4 : something flat: such as
a : a shallow container for shipping produce
b : a shallow box in which seedlings are started
c : a flat piece of theatrical scenery
d : a shoe or slipper having a flat heel or no heel
5 chiefly British : an apartment on one floor
6 : a deflated tire
7 : the area to either side of an offensive football formation

flat

adverb

Definition of flat (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : in a flat manner : directly, positively
2 : in a complete manner : absolutely flat broke
3 : below the proper musical pitch
4 : without interest charge especially : without allowance or charge for accrued interest bonds sold flat

flat

verb
flatted; flatting

Definition of flat (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : flatten
2 : to lower in pitch especially by a half step

intransitive verb

: to sing or play below the true pitch

Other Words from flat

Adjective

flatly adverb
flatness noun
flattish \ ˈfla-​tish How to pronounce flat (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for flat

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adverb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for flat

Adjective

level, flat, plane, even, smooth mean having a surface without bends, curves, or irregularities. level applies to a horizontal surface that lies on a line parallel with the horizon. the vast prairies are nearly level flat applies to a surface devoid of noticeable curvatures, prominences, or depressions. the work surface must be flat plane applies to any real or imaginary flat surface in which a straight line between any two points on it lies wholly within that surface. the plane sides of a crystal even applies to a surface that is noticeably flat or level or to a line that is observably straight. trim the hedge so it is even smooth applies especially to a polished surface free of irregularities. a smooth skating rink

insipid, vapid, flat, jejune, banal, inane mean devoid of qualities that make for spirit and character. insipid implies a lack of sufficient taste or savor to please or interest. an insipid romance with platitudes on every page vapid suggests a lack of liveliness, force, or spirit. an exciting story given a vapid treatment flat applies to things that have lost their sparkle or zest. although well-regarded in its day, the novel now seems flat jejune suggests a lack of rewarding or satisfying substance. a jejune and gassy speech banal stresses the complete absence of freshness, novelty, or immediacy. a banal tale of unrequited love inane implies a lack of any significant or convincing quality. an inane interpretation of the play

Examples of flat in a Sentence

Adjective the flat top of the table the flat landscape of the prairie Coins are usually round and flat. a flat piece of wood Noun the flat of your hand the flat of a sword Adverb Lay the map flat on the desk. He slipped and landed flat on his back. We asked for more time but they turned us down flat. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In addition to cutting income tax burdens, there has been a recent trend of states moving from progressive to flat personal income tax rates. Patrick Gleason, Forbes, 12 Aug. 2022 The wholesale report follows government data Wednesday that showed that consumer inflation was unchanged from June to July — the first flat figure after 25 straight months of increases. Christopher Rugaber, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Aug. 2022 The Los Angeles English professor washes his tees inside-out—sometimes in garment bags, always on cold—before laying them flat to dry. Jamie Waters, WSJ, 12 Aug. 2022 Females can lay up to two egg masses, typically on flat surfaces, including tree bark, rocks, lawn furniture, or anything left outdoors. Kevin Ambrose, Washington Post, 12 Aug. 2022 This new Razr presents a completely flat inner screen area when open. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 11 Aug. 2022 According to police, responders found the fire and observed a body laying flat on the ground engulfed in flames. Mike Mavredakis, Hartford Courant, 11 Aug. 2022 Even though the company added more rides and invested in the park, that price remained flat in 2019. Madison Iszler, San Antonio Express-News, 11 Aug. 2022 This can be easier to implement with flat organizations than with hierarchical ones. Rolling Stone Culture Council, Rolling Stone, 11 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Till’s lynching—a catalyst that sparked the civil rights movement through the ’50s and ’60s—Mamie Till-Mobley lived in her mother’s 1897 two-flat in Chicago. Rachel Silva, ELLE Decor, 20 July 2022 The trio move into a small flat with extended family, and Rose gets a job as a hotel maid. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 May 2022 The new 6th Street Viaduct crosses more industry than water, spanning a scruffy flat of lofts, warehouses and rail lines. Rachel Uranga, Los Angeles Times, 9 July 2022 The fire broke out early Sunday in the basement of a two-story brick two-flat in the 4000 block of West Potomac Street. Stephanie Casanova, Chicago Tribune, 30 June 2022 These include a small flat in St. Petersburg, two Soviet-era cars from the 1950s and a small garage. Max Colchester, WSJ, 13 May 2022 It was designed for Olympic speed climbing, but this soft, sensitive flat also makes a stellar gym trainer. Owen Clarke, Outside Online, 27 May 2022 Beethoven wrote: No. 30 in E (Op. 109), No. 31 in A-flat (Op. 110) and No. 32 in C Minor (Op. 111). Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 No matter your style though, there's a flat for every one of your moods this spring. Nicol Natale, PEOPLE.com, 25 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Could be an option if the Heat seek a flat-out bucket getter, perhaps if the anticipation is of moving Tyler Herro in a trade. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 20 June 2022 JESSE GREEN Theater, particularly musical theater, has often abetted the distortion and flat-out erasure of inconvenient histories. New York Times, 27 May 2022 The flat-out lies and the bad science don't stop there. Jill Filipovic, CNN, 11 May 2022 In the 1960s, Hartford offered the land as a flat-out gift to the city, but for some reason, Mayor Sam Yorty turned him down. Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2022 Booker has quickly transformed into a flat-out quality defender. Shane Young, Forbes, 16 Apr. 2022 And guys who can flat-out coach were held to a higher standard than so many of their white counterparts who are afforded the opportunity to improve and learn on the job (Vance Joseph, Steve Wilks and Brian Flores). Greg Moore, The Arizona Republic, 8 Apr. 2022 Contains flat-out hilarious descriptions of life in upper-class England in the 1930s. ELLE, 5 Apr. 2022 But others worry that Eric Smith is still a flat-out threat. CBS News, 26 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The process is pretty straightforward: Find a rough surface, and place the top of the can flat against it. Christopher Michel, Country Living, 20 Apr. 2022 By flatting the top, more main string gets lengthened, also improving control. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 21 Jan. 2020 Lead is harmful at any dose, and especially toxic to the nervous system; arsenic can flat-out kill you, the inspector general wrote. Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, 19 Nov. 2019 The main assumptions are 11 million barrels a day of crude oil production, Brent flat at $65 a barrel, net refining margins of $3 a barrel and chemicals net margins of $100 a tonne. Washington Post, 4 Oct. 2019 Brian Snyder, Arizona Republic One can flat shoot it. Duane Rankin, azcentral, 3 July 2019 Thoughtfully, my mother suspected this might be the case, and a few days before the wedding found an ideal backup: Manolo Blahnik flats with ample space for injured toes. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, 12 July 2019 Plus, the dude can flat-out sing, though no one else matches his pitch-perfect acting turn. USA TODAY, 26 June 2019 The fashionable royal has shown us that flats like knee-high boots and sneakers can be just as stylish (and functional) on the job, and yesterday was no exception. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, 29 Mar. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of flat

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1604, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for flat

Adjective, Noun, Adverb, and Verb

Middle English, from Old Norse flatr; akin to Old High German flaz flat, and probably to Greek platys broad — more at place

Learn More About flat

Time Traveler for flat

Time Traveler

The first known use of flat was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near flat

flasque

flat

flat advertising rate

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Statistics for flat

Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Flat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flat. Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for flat

flat

adjective
\ ˈflat How to pronounce flat (audio) \
flatter; flattest

Kids Definition of flat

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : having a smooth level surface a flat rock
2 : spread out on or along a surface He was lying flat on his back.
3 : having a broad smooth surface and little thickness A CD is flat.
4 : very clear and definite a flat refusal
5 : not changing in amount I charge a flat rate.
6 : not showing active business Sales are flat.
7 : dull entry 1 sense 3 a flat story She spoke in a flat, tired voice.
8 : having lost air a flat tire
9 : no longer having bubbles flat ginger ale
10 : lower than the true musical pitch
11 : lower by a half step in music
12 : not shiny flat paint

Other Words from flat

flatly adverb He flatly refused to help.

flat

noun

Kids Definition of flat (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a level area of land : plain
2 : a flat part or surface the flat of the hand
3 : a note or tone that is a half step lower than the note named
4 : a sign ♭ meaning that the pitch of a musical note is to be lower by a half step
5 : a tire that has lost air

flat

adverb

Kids Definition of flat (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : on or against a flat surface lie flat
2 : without any time more or less : exactly ten seconds flat
3 : below the true musical pitch

flat

adjective
\ ˈflat How to pronounce flat (audio) \
flatter; flattest

Medical Definition of flat

1 : being or characterized by a horizontal line or tracing without peaks or depressions the EEG is ominously flat indicating that her brain function is gone— Don Gold
2 : characterized by general impoverishment in the presence of emotion-evoking stimuli flat affect often occurs in schizophrenia

Other Words from flat

flatness noun

flat

adjective

Legal Definition of flat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not varying a flat rate specifically, of a tax : having a rate that remains constant for any taxable base

flat

adverb

Legal Definition of flat (Entry 2 of 2)

: without interest charge especially : without allowance or charge for accrued interest bonds sold flat

More from Merriam-Webster on flat

Nglish: Translation of flat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flat for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flat

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