flat·​ten | \ ˈfla-tᵊn How to pronounce flatten (audio) \
flattened; flattening\ ˈflat-​niŋ How to pronounce flatten (audio) , ˈfla-​tə-​ \

Definition of flatten

transitive verb

: to make flat: such as
a : to make level or smooth
b : to knock down also : to defeat decisively
c : to make dull or uninspired often used with out
d : to make lusterless flatten paint
e : to stabilize especially at a lower level

intransitive verb

: to become flat or flatter: such as
a : to become dull or spiritless
b : to extend in or into a flat position or form
c : to become uniform or stabilized often at a new lower level usually used with out

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Other Words from flatten

flattener \ ˈflat-​nər How to pronounce flatten (audio) , ˈfla-​tə-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for flatten



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Examples of flatten in a Sentence

Dozens of houses were flattened by the tornado. The boxer was flattened in the seventh round. The team got flattened in the first round of the play-offs. Prices are expected to flatten after the holiday shopping season.
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Recent Examples on the Web Just one week after the Cleveland Comic-con, the threat of COVID-19 finally began seeping into our communities and the announcement was made to shut down bars and restaurants to flatten the curve. Joshua Gunter, cleveland, "cleveland.com photographer Joshua Gunter’s favorite 20 photos from 2020," 25 Dec. 2020 But until community spread is reduced to a manageable level, contact tracers continue to work around the clock to flatten the curve as the U.S. confronts what is expected to be the deadliest days of the pandemic. NBC News, "Contact tracers connect those exposed to crucial social services," 19 Dec. 2020 Using floured fingers, flatten each mound of dough to form a 2-inch disc. Arkansas Democrat-gazette, Arkansas Online, "12 Christmas cookie recipes to spice up your holiday repertoire," 17 Dec. 2020 Wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, washing hands, and avoiding indoor gatherings are proven public health measures to flatten the curve. Popular Science, "Public health officials expect COVID-19 cases to spike like never before," 30 Nov. 2020 Still, while Tokyo had a record 821 new daily cases last week, some other areas are starting to see the curve flatten or even decline. Masumi Suga, Bloomberg.com, "Japanese Citizens Urged to Wear Masks at Home as Cases Swell," 22 Dec. 2020 That could mix in more diverse income levels and bring in more homeownership to flatten out the steady rental growth. Leon Stafford, ajc, "Robust Clayton County home sales pose challenges for renters, house hunters," 17 Dec. 2020 Press down gently on each cookie with palm of hand or bottom of drinking glass to flatten slightly. Angela Garbacz, Good Housekeeping, "Old-School Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches," 8 Dec. 2020 Austin enters the Department of Defense at a challenging time, one that follows a hefty Trump defense budget reconstitution early in his administration that was scheduled to flatten. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "Biden selects retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary," 7 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flatten.' 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 flatten

1630, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Time Traveler for flatten

Time Traveler

The first known use of flatten was in 1630

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Statistics for flatten

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flatten.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flatten. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for flatten


How to pronounce flatten (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of flatten

: to make (something) flat or flatter
: to become flat or flatter
: to knock down (something or someone)


flat·​ten | \ ˈfla-tən How to pronounce flatten (audio) \
flattened; flattening

Kids Definition of flatten

: to make or become flat She flattened herself against the wall.

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Comments on flatten

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