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

Propane production in the U.S., particularly in Texas, has surged while domestic demand has been relatively flat and export terminals are overwhelmed. Ryan Dezember, WSJ, "Fire Up the Grill: Propane Prices Have Tumbled," 9 July 2019 And so the roach populations remained flat or even increased in numbers. Brian Resnick, Vox, "One big reason you can’t get rid of cockroaches," 3 July 2019 Participants in the competitive division will start by drinking a cold 8-ounce beer, run a flat and fast 5K through Avondale, and finish by drinking a second cold 8-ounce beer at Avondale Brewing. al.com, "July Fourth events (and more) to attend this month," 2 July 2019 The current outlook for nationwide single-family home construction in 2019 is for flat or slightly lower starts. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Lower mortgage costs boost housing outlook for 2019," 28 June 2019 When hung horizontally or vertically against a wall or in a window, the flag must be flat and the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right (the viewer's left). Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "American Flag Etiquette: Here's How to Properly Display the American Flag," 22 May 2019 The scene in which the new council chooses Bran as king was an appallingly flat and unpersuasive way to bring to a conclusion the show's otherwise very sophisticated ongoing engagement with politics and power. Daniel Mendelsohn, Town & Country, "Even Classicists Hated the Game of Thrones Finale," 20 May 2019 Eddie MacDonald, 38, of Rowley, Massachusetts, has won four times at New Hampshire International Speedway, a slightly flatter and tighter 1.018-mile oval in Loudon. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here's what you need to know about the return of racing to the Milwaukee Mile this weekend," 21 Feb. 2019 Pool floats range from being compact and flat, to huge. Houston Chronicle, "Accessories to help you enjoy life under the sun," 27 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Also from Guntersville, Captain Mike Gerry's anglers continue to score early on topwaters including the Spook fished over grass on the flats along the channel shoulders at depths of 2 to 4 feet. Frank Sargeant, al.com, "Friday Fishing Report: Find out what’s working and where," 12 July 2019 Run-flats, which first became common on sports cars that didn’t have room to carry a spare, wear out quickly after losing pressure. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "2020 Ford Explorer's new tires fix themselves, representing a coming trend for drivers," 29 June 2019 Eugene’s unique setting near the top of the Willamette Valley offers many beautiful rides — in the mountains or on the flats. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "In Eugene, Oregon, a good mood is ‘just a bike ride away’," 15 June 2019 The units — a collection of flats, town houses, and a five-story apartment building — will be tucked into a hillside surrounded by 72 acres of hiking trails, beaches and landscaped parks. J.k. Dineen, SFChronicle.com, "Development on SF’s Yerba Buena Island an early step in Treasure Island project," 12 June 2019 In celebration of open-toe season, it’s time to slip on cute flats and heels. Niki Mcgloster, Essence, "Keep It Cute and Casual In These Chic Slide-Ons?," 7 June 2019 Property owners around Lake Dunlap now see shallow, muddy water and mud flats where there was once water. Josh Baugh, ExpressNews.com, "Lack of funds paints bleak future for Lake Dunlap dam, residents," 6 June 2019 Your feet are unprepared for your commute Emma Kapoor, 21, had to run through the rain in ballet flats to her first day at the D.C. software company Sayari. Chelsea Cirruzzo, Washington Post, "Welcome to D.C., summer interns," 17 June 2019 As for her footwear choices, the Duchess of Sussex packed quite a few designer pairs of heels for the royal tour, but also managed to sneak in some daytime-appropriate flats, including brown sandals and comfy sneakers. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "How Meghan Markle's Style Might Change Now That She's Pregnant," 6 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

All the justices seem to agree that Congress can write a new law targeting flat-out profanity or vulgarity as long as only modes of expression—not ideas themselves—are cabined. S.m. | New York, The Economist, "The Supreme Court strikes down a bar on offensive trademarks," 25 June 2019 Other holes served to anchor the jaws in place and suspend the cranium around the warrior’s neck, while the backs were sawed off to make the skulls lie flat on the wearer’s chest. Gabriel D. Wrobel, The Conversation, "Trophies made from human skulls hint at regional conflicts around the time of Maya civilization’s mysterious collapse," 10 June 2019 While an all-news station will often flat-out reject the more salacious audio submissions, other outlets such as a Top 40 destination, a college outpost and an all-talk (all-rant) frequency don’t have such standards. Todd Martens, latimes.com, "‘Alt-Frequencies,’ a radio drama for the social media era," 7 June 2019 First-quarter revenue was $23 billion, roughly flat from $23.07 billion a year ago, the bank said Tuesday. ... Rachel Louise Ensign, WSJ, "Bank of America’s Profit Rises on Consumer-Unit Growth," 16 Apr. 2019 One leg was lying flat on the ground, but the other was moving up and down. Azad Cudi, Harper's magazine, "Long Shot," 10 Jan. 2019 The House had proposed a flat 6.6% cut for that range. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland.com, "Restoration of business-tax cut among changes proposed in Ohio Senate’s budget plan," 11 June 2019 Now, the famous shoe brand released a new ladylike ballet flat called Tree Breezers ($95), which answer a consumer demand for a more feminine silhouette that goes from day to night (yas ladies!). Shanon Maglente, Good Housekeeping, "Allbirds Just Dropped the Most Comfortable Ballet Flat You'll Ever Wear," 2 May 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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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