\ 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 pluralsagebrush 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

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

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 Overall rents were flat in the second quarter with an average rate of $1,185, mostly due to stabilization in June. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Pandemic hammers D-FW apartment market," 6 July 2020 While infections have soared, the death rate has remained flat. Fox News, "Thousands flock to beaches for holiday weekend as COVID rate soars, but death rate remains stable," 4 July 2020 The number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 has remained about flat, hospital capacity has remained stable and no hospitals are reporting having trouble attaining personal protective equipment. Tyler Arnold, Washington Examiner, "Virginia moves to phase 3 of reopening but sitting at bars still prohibited," 2 July 2020 An inspection of the man’s car revealed that the right rear tire had a hole in the side and that the tire was flat. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland, "Driver passes out behind the wheel: North Olmsted Police Blotter," 27 June 2020 And while Amazon's buyer growth was flat, with 2 in 3 U.S. adults buying from its platform during the same periods, its overall sales are surging. Lance Lambert, Fortune, "Amazon dominates e-commerce during the pandemic—but Walmart is catching up," 26 June 2020 The result, experts say, was that the curve essentially remained flat for weeks, and never dropped to levels that would have safely allowed for further stages of reopening. Andrew Joseph, STAT, "As Covid-19 cases surge, Pence touts progress made from earlier peaks," 26 June 2020 Leading up to the end of shelter-in-place, the seven-day average was relatively flat. Mike Massa, SFChronicle.com, "Are US cities reopening ahead of the Bay Area seeing surges in coronavirus cases?," 10 June 2020 The floors are flat, as a minivan's, should passengers wish to move fore and aft without exiting the vehicle. Steve Spence, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1997 Honda CR-V Launches Honda into the SUV Race," 9 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Alibaba then transformed from a company founded out of a small flat to a retail-and-logistics behemoth that has a market capitalization of over $600 billion. Jane Li, Quartz, "Masayoshi Son is departing the board of Alibaba, SoftBank’s most successful investment," 25 June 2020 With a little practice at home, learn to fix your own flat in the field—or be a hero and come to the rescue of a fellow cyclist. Christine Frietchen, Condé Nast Traveler, "9 Best Bike Accessories for Those Who Plan to Ride All Summer," 11 June 2020 There are still a few salty duck hunters cruising the Salt Lake flats in airboats chasing the migration, but hell—all the real big-game hunters moved to Wyoming. Drew Palmer, Outdoor Life, "50 Hunter Stereotypes from Every State," 15 May 2020 Some anglers also fished the bridge at North Sauty, another noted choke-point with access to large spawning flats. Frank Sargeant, al, "Lessons from the Bassmaster Classic," 11 Mar. 2020 The Ravens also reacted well to screens and were able to get out into the flats or into the passing lanes before Rams quarterback Jared Goff could execute plays. Mike Preston, baltimoresun.com, "Mike Preston’s report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 45-6 rout of Rams," 25 Nov. 2019 Harpswell: The town wants the Navy to protect the clam flats as part of its remediation plan for the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. USA TODAY, "Surfboard proposal, Duke dorm opossum, Sky Bar’s back: News from around our 50 states," 15 Nov. 2019 On third and eight, Hodges passed into the right flat to Conner, who turned the short toss into a 26-yard touchdown when linebacker Jatavis Brown missed the tackle. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "Chargers melt down when home field turns into Steeler mill," 13 Oct. 2019 Another task to complete before the start of seed-sowing is to clean your pots, trays and flats. oregonlive, "How to make your own seed-starting mix and plan for gardening days ahead," 17 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Over those two years, its sales of aerospace parts soared 30% above pre-crisis levels, largely because the ever-agile Honeywell stole orders from its flat-footed competitors. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Former Honeywell CEO David Cote just wrote one of the best guides ever on how to lead a company," 25 June 2020 The gear shift lever can fold down flat when in Park to make room for the table. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, "Ford's powerful new F-150 offers fully reclining seats, a bottle opener, and a hybrid option," 25 June 2020 When the Kentucky governor’s office approved Louisville City FC opening Lynn Family Stadium at 50% of seating capacity, the local soccer franchise was both kicking up its heels and caught flat-footed. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville City FC's stadium launch could attract a national audience," 24 June 2020 This season is going to look unlike any other, a flat-out sprint from start to finish. Dallas News, "What’s next for MLB? Evan Grant answers questions about a season unlike any other and what it means for the Rangers," 23 June 2020 Even if all these SUVs offer ruggedness, versatility, and incredible off-road abilities, some of them still flat embarrass the mud flaps off the others. Kevin Smith, Car and Driver, "Seven 1990 SUVs Tested: Ford vs. GMC vs. Isuzu vs. Jeep vs. Mitsubishi vs. Nissan vs. Toyota," 22 June 2020 By contrast, its response to the covid-19 pandemic has been less flat-footed. The Economist, "Better tailored The euro area’s stimulus is less stingy than in past crises," 20 June 2020 For several years after that, school budgets were largely flat-lined. Arika Herron, The Indianapolis Star, "Indiana's K-12 schools will be spared budget cuts, Holcomb says," 18 June 2020 Take a rain check on social connections; the fun may fall flat due to incompatibility issues. oregonlive, "Horoscope for June 5, 2020: Happy birthday Ron Livingston; Aquarius, hold off making decisions," 5 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb By flatting the top, more main string gets lengthened, also improving control. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Tennis Racket Technology Is Way More Elaborate Than You Think," 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, "A superfund site in Montana sold bags of hazardous waste as souvenirs," 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, "Aramco’s Cash Flow Gets the Royal Treatment," 4 Oct. 2019 Brian Snyder, Arizona Republic One can flat shoot it. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "What Cameron Johnson, Ty Jerome and Jalen Lecque can bring to the Suns now, in the future," 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, "“The Age of Innocence on Acid” Was the Design Directive For This Wedding at the National Arts Club," 12 July 2019 Plus, the dude can flat-out sing, though no one else matches his pitch-perfect acting turn. USA TODAY, "Review: Endearing, imperfect 'Yesterday' imagines a world without The Beatles," 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, "Kate Middleton Jokes About Changing from High Heels to Combat Boots," 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, "Afraid of the Yield Curve? You’re Looking at the Wrong One," 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

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flat. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for flat

How to pronounce flat (audio)

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
\ 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
\ 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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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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