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

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to become flat or flatter: such as
: to become dull or spiritless
: to extend in or into a flat position or form
: to become uniform or stabilized often at a new lower level
usually used with out
ˈflat-nər How to pronounce flatten (audio)

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Procedural hurdles that block access to experimental therapies that might help those who no longer qualify for clinical trials must be flattened. Lynn Brielmaier, STAT, 5 July 2024 Power lines have been brought down, homes flattened, and streets flooded across multiple southeastern Caribbean Islands. Rebecca Schneid, TIME, 3 July 2024 Grenada was last struck by a deadly hurricane 20 years ago when a powerful Hurricane Ivan struck the country before battery Jamaica and nearly flattening the Cayman Islands. Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, 2 July 2024 This firsthand exposure is a much better reflection of the truth than flattened, extreme images provided by the internet and the news. Chelsea Leu, The Atlantic, 30 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for flatten 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flatten.' 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

1630, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of flatten was in 1630

Dictionary Entries Near flatten

Cite this Entry

“Flatten.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flatten. Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


flat·​ten ˈflat-ᵊn How to pronounce flatten (audio)
flattened; flattening ˈflat-niŋ How to pronounce flatten (audio)
: to make or become flat

More from Merriam-Webster on flatten

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