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 flat (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for flat

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adverb

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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 Monde Nissin — The Philippines’ largest instant noodle manufacturer raised $1 billion on the Philippine Stock Exchange in the country’s largest ever listing, though shares were flat in first-day trading. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 1 June 2021 Major Asian stock markets fell Monday after Japan reported weaker-than-expect growth in factory output and Chinese manufacturing growth was flat. Joe Mcdonald, ajc, 31 May 2021 Police checked the car and saw that one front tire was flat and the rim was bent. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, 27 May 2021 Those images suggest the new airfield is flat and won't pose any risks when Ingenuity touches down. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 21 May 2021 Bonds rallied as the Chinese 10-Year Gov’t bond yield reached 3.09%, CNY was flat, and copper was off. Brendan Ahern, Forbes, 21 May 2021 Yet for sales to merely be flat after a surge like March’s, particularly in the midst of a monthslong recovery, is somewhat remarkable. Justin Lahart, WSJ, 14 May 2021 Retail sales in the U.S. were flat in April after soaring in March, when many Americans received $1,400 stimulus checks that boosted spending. Joseph Pisani, Star Tribune, 14 May 2021 Retail sales in the U.S. were flat in April, after soaring in March, when many Americans received $1,400 stimulus checks that boosted spending. BostonGlobe.com, 14 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The city’s high-rise residential blocks usually emit a harsh white glare from the fluorescent lights fitted in every South Korean flat. The Economist, 8 May 2021 The people in this painting likely lived in a communal flat and needed to apply for a bigger living space because of the birth of a new family member. Alicia Eler, Star Tribune, 29 Apr. 2021 Johnson, his fiancée Carrie Symonds and their son Wilfred, who turns 1 on Thursday, live in a four-bedroom flat at 11 Downing Street. Washington Post, 28 Apr. 2021 A year after the Japanese driver caused a flat for Marco Andretti, wheel-to-wheel contact with Hinchcliffe did the same, miring him in 18th for his second consecutive finish outside the top-15 to start the year. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 26 Apr. 2021 Yet any visitor who has ever bought a flat of pansies inevitably wonders: How much did all this cost? BostonGlobe.com, 22 Apr. 2021 Flattering and versatile, the ballet flat remains a staple shoe style for good reason. Nicola Fumo, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2021 The next day, his fourth in London, Roth went looking for a flat of his own in the same neighborhood. Blake Bailey, Vulture, 6 Apr. 2021 Kyle Kohrs said that during one operation, an ACV ran over a stake, which stayed inside a tire for two days without causing a flat. Andrew Dyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The Suns had their way against Los Angeles' reach-and-swipe defense, leaving the Lakers flat footed with their quickness and rapid ball movement. John Marshall, ajc, 2 June 2021 The Suns had their way against Los Angeles’ reach-and-swipe defense, leaving the Lakers flat-footed with their quickness and rapid ball movement. John Marshall, orlandosentinel.com, 2 June 2021 Speculation about future successors has been going on for years, so the school wasn't caught flat-footed when Krzyzewski finally made the decision to walk away. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, 2 June 2021 And however well-intended the new rules were, some of the participating community institutions themselves were caught flat-footed. Don Lee Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 24 May 2021 Josecarlos Van Rankin lofted a ball into the box and Mora rose up to head it inside the near post, catching Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond flat-footed. Caitlin Murray, oregonlive, 22 May 2021 His administration appeared flat-footed and unprepared as violence flared. Washington Post, 17 May 2021 Supply bottlenecks have occurred because companies were caught flat-footed by the speed of the economic recovery from the pandemic, with most consumers flush with cash, after multiple stimulus checks, and spending freely. Christopher Rugaber, The Christian Science Monitor, 13 May 2021 Miss a downshift or two and a turbo gasoline car can be caught flat-footed. Mark Ewing, Forbes, 13 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 The curve was also this flat a few times where no inversion or recession followed and stocks did well, such as in the mid-1990s. James Mackintosh, WSJ, 6 Dec. 2018

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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Time Traveler for flat

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for flat

Last Updated

4 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flat. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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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