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

The ride is approximately 10 to 15 miles on mostly quiet and flat roads. courant.com, "Community News For The South Windsor Edition," 13 June 2019 After recalibrating your ears to the sighs of a newborn, Gilberto’s flat, fragile voice feels astonishingly colossal — yet without losing any of its quiet placidity. Chris Richards, Washington Post, "Everything you’ve been told about ‘dad rock’ is a lie," 12 June 2019 Fishing was mostly just sitting in a rowboat on some flat Jefferson County lake, hour after hour. Beth Thames | Bethmthames@gmail.com, al.com, "Father’s advice lasts more than a lifetime," 12 June 2019 Plus, there’s nothing inherently more professional about wearing high heels than a flat shoe. Tatum Dooley, Teen Vogue, "Japanese Women Are Petitioning Against a Rule That Requires Them to Wear High Heels at Work," 11 June 2019 Orange campfire embers smolder along the flat black water of Resurrection Bay as the last bits of midsummer twilight fade from the sky. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "Working the night shift: Snagging salmon in Seward," 11 June 2019 Harford County charges flat rates — $4,200 for a townhouse and $6,000 for a single-family home. Alison Knezevich, baltimoresun.com, "New Baltimore County developer fees aim to cover cost of schools, roads. But the revenue is likely years away.," 10 June 2019 Unlike the state’s casinos, which are taxed at a progressive rate that can reach as high as 50%, video gambling is taxed at a flat rate of 30%, with 25% going to the state and 5% to local governments. Jason Grotto, ProPublica, "Illinois Video Gambling Tax Hike Will Be Decided by Lawmakers With Financial Ties to the Industry," 10 June 2019 Some food delivery apps charge a flat rate in addition to the cost of your food, while others may just charge tips for the delivery driver. Leah Napoliello, Houston Chronicle, "BBB on Homes: Use care when having food sent to your home," 9 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For a long time, SUPs lacked a way for anglers to stop in shallow flats without drifting. John Clarke, WSJ, "The New Fishing Vessel of Choice? Stand-Up Paddleboards," 15 Aug. 2018 But some types are less likely to respond than others—people who live in flats not houses, for example. The Economist, "Plunging response rates to household surveys worry policymakers," 24 May 2018 Agnes Varda subverted the rules as well by walking the red carpet in flats. refinery29.com, "Kristen Stewart, Ava DuVernay & 80 Other Women Staged A Powerful Protest At Cannes," 12 May 2018 Klobuchar, who has a wide smile and a neat helmet of brown hair, is also little (five feet four with no help from her flats) and fierce (exhibit A: her starring role in Brett Kavanaugh’s contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearings last fall). Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Personable, Popular, Pragmatic: Is Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar the Democrat’s Secret Weapon?," 15 Jan. 2019 Up next is another beloved wardrobe staple: ballet flats. Glamour, "At Long Last, Allbirds Is Making Ballet Flats," 2 May 2019 The March 30 official sales debut will feature a new release of studio, urban-one, one-, two- and three-bedroom flats that range in size from 464 to 1,065 square feet. Koda, The Seattle Times, "Opening of sales gallery, public sales debut set for March 30," 29 Mar. 2019 At the end of the day, there are just as many chic flats as there are fashion-forward heels. The Cut, "How to Dress for 7 Spring Occasions: A Trunk Club Stylist Explains," 19 May 2018 Unlike Kate Middleton, who wore wedges to the beach back in 2014, Meghan re-wore her navy flats from Rothy's. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Rothy's Flats Filled With Sand at Melbourne Beach," 18 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Michelangelo, the proud sculptor, found himself at age 35 lying flat on his back, sweating, painting the Sistine Chapel. Sam Anderson, New York Times, "New Sentences: From Helen DeWitt’s ‘Some Trick’," 27 June 2018 But demand for Intel chips used in personal computers helped offset that decline, leaving overall first-quarter revenue flat compared with the year earlier... Asa Fitch, WSJ, "Intel Trims Financial Forecast on Weaker Demand From Cloud, China," 25 Apr. 2019 Having communicated his ideas through jeans and tees and briefs, Church is now focusing on shoes, specifically the classic ballet flat. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Here’s How Patrick Church Turned a Simple Ballet Flat Into a Piece of Art," 17 Apr. 2019 Keeping your back flat and engaging your abs, bend your knees and twist them both in toward one elbow, and then extend your legs back out. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Work Your Core and Upper Body With This 5-Move TRX Circuit From Celebrity Trainer Jeanette Jenkins," 4 Apr. 2019 Kukushkin, whos flat-hitting style starkly contrasted Nadal's topspin-heavy game, had break chances in every set and did manage to go up a break early in the third. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Djokovic, Nadal Advance at Wimbledon; Cilic Upset by Pella," 5 July 2018 As has been the case, prices are growing for low-cost homes typically found in the outer areas of the region like Tacoma, and staying flat in higher-cost places like Seattle. Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Seattle-area home price cool-down stands out among U.S. cities," 26 Mar. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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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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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