1 of 2


: being or going at maximum effort or speed
: out-and-out, downright
it was a flat-out lie

flat out

2 of 2


: in a blunt and direct manner : openly
called flat out for revolutionNat'l Review
: at top speed or peak performance
the car does 180 m.p.h. flat out
usually flat-out : absolutely, downright
usually used as an intensive
is just flat-out confusing

Examples of flat-out in a Sentence

Adverb I told him flat out that I have no intention of marrying him. We asked for more time but they refused us flat out. The car does 180 mph flat out.
Recent Examples on the Web
In each episode, a celebrity panel will try to identify the real married couple from the ones who are flat-out lying – and, in fact, have just met for the very first time on that same day. John Hopewell, Variety, 5 Apr. 2024 As the interview continues, Andrew’s responses shift from controversial to flat-out absurd. Armani Syed, TIME, 5 Apr. 2024 With 27 tracks spanning 78 minutes, the album is a payload of provocation and flat-out astonishing music that will take a while to fully digest. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 29 Mar. 2024 The first two are flat-out icons, while Moroney is one of the most talented and promising new talents to be found in any genre. Jim Harrington, The Mercury News, 28 Mar. 2024 Trump’s baseless accusations and his flat-out lies are as essential to his public identity as are his tales of financial derring-do, his coarse language, his prejudices and his listing toward autocracy. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, 26 Mar. 2024 The stage was set for the Fourth, whose five movements add up to a summa of Bartók’s art, by turns tenaciously labored, sinuously swirling, nocturnally eerie, pizzicato-punchy, and flat-out wild. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 25 Mar. 2024 Oh, there's no doubt that the – the claim that Prime Minister Netanyahu and others are making that somehow UNRWA is a proxy for Hamas are just flat-out lies. CBS News, 17 Mar. 2024 This could cause insurance premiums to surge in price, or could lead to insurers flat-out denying coverage of some EV models. José Rodríguez Jr. / Jalopnik, Quartz, 13 Mar. 2024
Netanyahu appears to just be flat out ignoring President Biden's warning about an offensive in Rafah. ABC News, 24 Mar. 2024 Beijing has been struggling to restore confidence in the country’s ailing real estate industry and appears to be working flat out to prevent China Vanke going the way of Evergrande and Country Garden, which both defaulted on their debts and are at risk of being liquidated. Laura He, CNN, 12 Mar. 2024 Still, some Senate Republicans had reservations about moving forward with the aid package without border security provisions, while others rejected the package flat out, throwing the legislation's path forward into question. Kaia Hubbard, CBS News, 11 Feb. 2024 Babies are constantly lifting the bib up, tugging it off, and just flat out dipping their sleeves in their food. Brigitt Earley, Glamour, 1 Feb. 2024 Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said flat out that the bill is going nowhere. Allison Pecorin, ABC News, 6 Feb. 2024 Anthony Edwards flat out declined to shoot for much of the night, instead choosing to bump up his assist tally while focusing on getting Towns as many points as possible. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, 23 Jan. 2024 Birch Benders Organic Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix Fresh grains, a big hit of tangy buttermilk and just a touch of sugar make these moist, fluffy pancakes flat out delicious. Jolene Thym, The Mercury News, 11 Jan. 2024 Vivek Ramaswamy ends 2024 campaign after disappointing in Iowa Turnout sinks amid terrible weather Turnout was flat out lousy in Iowa Monday, which saw sub-zero temperatures. Tal Axelrod, ABC News, 15 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flat-out.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1906, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1932, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of flat-out was in 1906

Dictionary Entries Near flat-out

Cite this Entry

“Flat-out.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flat-out. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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