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 The new milestone comes as COVID-19 cases have begun to flatten both in the county and other parts of California, though conditions in hospitals remain critical. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, "More contagious coronavirus strain detected in L.A. County as total cases top 1 million," 16 Jan. 2021 Then, as the first infection curve began to flatten, the foundation of the societal budget seemed to shift. Gregory Barber, Wired, "How Many Microcovids Would You Spend on a Burrito?," 12 Jan. 2021 Some governments have been able to flatten the curve, allowing some degree of normality over the Christmas period. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "Hopes for a ‘normal’ Christmas fade as pandemic rages in Europe and North America," 15 Dec. 2020 With the possibility of a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, and knowing that the state was able to flatten the curve once before, Elmouchi said these changed don't have to be forever. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, "'COVID-19 is surging across our state': Spectrum Health nearing capacity, CEO says," 11 Nov. 2020 On Monday, local health officials reported that infection rates and hospitalizations had started to flatten for Orange County. Kate Santich, orlandosentinel.com, "Ronald McDonald House turns to hotels, community for help with facilities still shuttered," 5 Aug. 2020 Over the past two to three weeks, the daily number of new cases reported by the state Health Department has started to flatten, one of the first potentially promising signs in Arizona's COVID-19 battle. Chelsea Curtis, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona reports 1,465 new COVID-19 cases and 18 deaths Sunday; hospital data improving," 3 Aug. 2020 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

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

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flatten.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flatten. Accessed 27 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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