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

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 Gently turn and flatten the ball between your palms, until the gordita is the size and shape of a hockey puck. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Nov. 2021 The head-spinning, nauseating episodes that could flatten me for an entire day were rare at first, but quickened in frequency just as COVID-19 locked down the world. San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Dec. 2021 But the crackers are still made by hand by her factory crew—largely refugees from countries such as Afghanistan and Somalia—who scoop the arrowroot and seed dough onto sheets and flatten it with rolling pins. Anne Kadet, Fortune, 15 Dec. 2021 Remove the dough from the bowl and flatten it onto a baking sheet, creating a 9-by-11-inch slab. Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2021 Many people keep their hands in fists, but some flatten them out on the ground—either way is fine. Christa Sgobba, SELF, 30 Sep. 2021 After rice has chilled in the fridge, place about 1/3 cup of rice in your hand and flatten it into your cupped hand. Essence, 1 Sep. 2021 Remember the phrase two weeks to flatten the curve? Fox News, 2 Dec. 2021 From doctors, nurses and paramedics to police officers, transportation and sanitation workers, listeners hear directly from those keeping the world moving while so many were quarantining at home and working to flatten the curve. ABC News, 9 Nov. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near flatten

flat tax


flattened-strand rope

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Statistics for flatten

Last Updated

12 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Flatten.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flatten. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for flatten



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on flatten

Nglish: Translation of flatten for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flatten for Arabic Speakers


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