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

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Other Words from flat

Adjective

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for flat

Synonyms: Adjective

even, exact, precise, round

Synonyms: Noun

apartment, diggings [chiefly British], digs, lodgings, suite, tenement

Synonyms: Adverb

all, all of, all over, altogether, clean, completely, dead, enough, entire, entirely, even, exactly, fast, full, fully, heartily, out, perfectly, plumb [chiefly dialect], quite, soundly, thoroughly, through and through, totally, utterly, well, wholly, wide

Antonyms: Adverb

half, halfway, incompletely, part, partially, partly

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Lay the mat flat or hang it over a shower rod to dry fully before rolling it back up. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "Here's Exactly How to Clean Your Yoga Mat," 6 Mar. 2019 This year, more people can keep the same coverage, and premiums are generally flat from last year. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Obamacare sign-ups surge in final tally," 21 Dec. 2018 Find a flat surface for writing or supporting a computer on your lap, and use a soft light to prevent a glare that may harm the eyes. Heidi Mitchell, WSJ, "Is It Healthy to Study in Bed?," 13 Feb. 2019 Lay the shirt out on a completely flat surface, buttons facing up this time. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "Here's How to Fold a Dress Shirt, Because Sometimes You Have To," 11 Feb. 2019 The smooth, flat surface is stainless steel coated in white, and features a touch screen, timer, and the ability to actually choose a specific temperature setting (instead of just spinning a dial, like most space heaters). Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "Yes, Attractive Space Heaters Actually Exist," 1 Feb. 2019 Start on a flat surface (like a wood table or a cutting board). Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Make Homemade Pasta Without a Machine," 7 Jan. 2019 Tip: Work on a flat surface covered in terry cloth, which won't cling to the yarn. Madison Alcedo, Country Living, "5 Easy DIY Tutorials for That Viral Chunky Knit Blanket," 12 Dec. 2018 Scatter turbinado sugar onto a sheet of wax paper or other flat surface. Rebekah Denn, The Seattle Times, "Cane syrup, a Southern staple, makes its way to Seattle just in time for prime pecan-pie season," 20 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Knightley wore a short tulle dress designed for her by Karl Lagerfeld with a Chanel jacket, flats, and a crown of daisies. Lauren Le Vine, Redbook, "Morning Headlines: Sofia Vergara Hates Exercising, Keira Knightley's Low-Key Nuptials — and More," 6 May 2013 Launching January 15, the new Zodiac collection offers fans a pair of Meghan's favorite flats, personalized with their own zodiac sign. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle's Beloved Rothy's Flats Just Got a Zodiac Update," 15 Jan. 2019 At the end of the season on May 5, 2017, Elbettar walked away as frosh-soph champion of the boys’ shotput (51 feet-flat, a seasonal-best) in the Sunset League. Andrew Turner, latimes.com, "Daily Pilot High School Male Athlete of the Week: Newport’s Aidan Elbettar pumped out podium finish," 9 June 2018 Spring Mansion — named for its original owner, the mining and real estate tycoon John Hopkins Spring — was a universe away from the Oakland flats, where Riley grew up and shot most of the film. Jonah Weiner, New York Times, "How Boots Riley Infiltrated Hollywood," 22 May 2018 Janelle Okwodu, Senior Fashion News Writer Little Bally flats. Anny Choi, Vogue, "Vogue Staffers Pick the Best Shoes to Wear to Work This Winter," 25 Jan. 2019 Rothy’s, a shoe brand founded in 2012, sells flats, loafers, and sneakers made from old water bottles. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "Why brands are making new clothes out of old plastic," 24 Oct. 2018 From plaid coats to faux leather skirts; leopard flats and bright red handbags alike, Amazon might just become one of your favorite places to shop. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Amazon Fashion Items Everyone Will Be Buying This Fall," 12 Oct. 2018 Model Paloma Elsesser looking like pure money, quite literally, in a pair of dollar bill covered Supreme pants with green Chanel ballet flats. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "The 13 Best Fashion Instagrams of the Week: Tracee Ellis Ross, Kali Uchis, and More," 13 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Maintaining a flat back, slowly lift your legs back up to the starting position. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Strengthen Your Core With This 5-Move Workout From Carrie Underwood’s Trainer," 29 Jan. 2019 Voters, many of whom have never used a computer or smartphone, struggled with the machines’ touch screens and there were multiple reports of batteries going flat in rural areas with no power supply. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Congo Votes in Contentious Election," 30 Dec. 2018 But before my big chop, my chest-grazing strands would easily fall flat, leaving me to rely on volumizers for any form of thickness. Allure, "Four Hair-Care Routines That Boost Volume for Thin Strands," 24 Sep. 2018 Prices among flats recently for sale with one major agent range up to £12.5 million for a three-bedroom flat on one of the floors with better views. Philip Georgiadis, WSJ, "London Property Feels Brexit Sting," 1 Jan. 2019 But Chekatt wasn’t home on Tuesday morning when the police arrived at the fifth-floor flat overlooking a pair of smokestacks and flat-topped houses in the distance. Jamey Keaten, The Seattle Times, "Strasbourg suspect: From young criminal to fugitive attacker," 12 Dec. 2018 And a stereo camera system called Road Surface Scan looks for upcoming bumps and coordinates with the suspension to keep the body of the car flat. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Car Shows Used to Be Amazing—And They Might Be Again," 5 Dec. 2018 Finding a stretch of land long enough and flat enough for Bloodhound SSC was not particularly simple. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Bloodhound SSC: How do you build a car capable of 1,000mph?," 24 Nov. 2018 Lee, a former New York Times reporter and current vice chair of a group that makes recommendations for emoji, Messer's design for the ballet flat made it into the most recent round of updates. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "With This New Ballet Flat Emoji, Women Finally Have a Comfortable Digital Shoe," 9 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And his board can reach tighter, shallower spots and motor-free zones that flats boats can’t. John Clarke, WSJ, "The New Fishing Vessel of Choice? Stand-Up Paddleboards," 15 Aug. 2018 Get ready to kiss your little leopard flats goodbye because camo-print loafers are going to be your go-to, everyday shoe for sure! Jasmine Snow, Seventeen, "Fashion Trends," 12 June 2013 Instead, the cycling startup wants to bring to bear a new strategy that gets rid of the bike rack, and perhaps more audaciously, allows members to flat-out own the bikes and make money off each rental. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "In This Bike-Sharing Plan, You Buy a $1,000 Cycle and Rent It Yourself," 13 Mar. 2015 Meghan has been seen in Sarah Flint’s Natalie flats on a number of occasions, including her first official appearance with Prince Harry, at the Toronto Invictus Games in 2017. Tamara Abraham, Harper's BAZAAR, "Shop the Shoe Brand Meghan Markle Swears By," 18 May 2018 At fault, a toxic troika that combines gushing supply with fears that long-term demand will flat-line as electric vehicles and renewable energies grow, and climate change policies proliferate. Kevin Crowley And Kelly Gilblom, Houston Chronicle, "Can Big Oil win back investors?," 24 Apr. 2018 There's one more option: Trump could flat-out refuse to talk to Mueller in any way and refuse a grand jury subpoena. Danny Cevallos, NBC News, "Mueller wants to hear from Trump. What could possibly go wrong?," 6 Feb. 2018 The Beverly Hills flats property is repped by a pair of agents: Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker and Gregg Silver of Keller Williams Realty, both in Beverly Hills. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Leeza Gibbons Lists Beverly Hills Home for $18.5 Million," 29 Jan. 2018 In contrast to the double digit gains for S&P 500 company profits, DeSanctis said the small cap S&P 600 was expected to see earnings decline 2.5%, a number that could be closer to flat, when counting companies that have already reported. Patti Domm, USA TODAY, "Small caps could be sending a warning for the whole stock market," 8 Aug. 2017

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.

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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

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Statistics for flat

Last Updated

24 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flat

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

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More Definitions for flat

flat

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of flat

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: having a smooth, level, or even surface : not having curves or bumps
: having a wide, smooth surface and little thickness
of a shoe heel : very low and wide also, of a shoe : having a flat heel or no heel

flat

noun

English Language Learners Definition of flat (Entry 2 of 3)

: a level area of land
: a flat part or surface
: a musical note that is one semitone lower than a specified note

flat

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of flat (Entry 3 of 3)

: on or against a flat surface
: in the position of someone or something that is lying spread out on the ground or another surface
: exactly or precisely

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on flat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flat

Spanish Central: Translation of flat

Nglish: Translation of flat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flat for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flat

Comments on flat

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