flat·​ter | \ ˈfla-tər How to pronounce flatter (audio) \
flattered; flattering; flatters

Definition of flatter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to praise excessively especially from motives of self-interest He flattered her with comments about how youthful she looks.
2a archaic : beguile sense 2
b : to encourage or gratify especially with the assurance that something is right I flatter myself that my interpretation is correct.
3a : to portray too favorably The portrait flatters him.
b : to display to advantage Candlelight often flatters the face.



Definition of flatter (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that flattens especially : a flat-faced swage used in smithing

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Other Words from flatter


flatterer \ ˈfla-​tər-​ər How to pronounce flatterer (audio) \ noun

Examples of flatter in a Sentence

Verb He flattered her with comments about her youthful appearance. It flattered her to be asked to sing at their wedding. That dress really flatters your figure.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Some White House aides say this is nothing new, and that Trump often tests similar ideas in conversation or makes such remarks to flatter his aides and keep others on their toes. BostonGlobe.com, "Most read on BostonGlobe.com," 23 Oct. 2019 The allegations set out in the SEC’s lawsuit are not flattering to Kik. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Does the SEC's ICO Lawsuit Against Kik Go Too Far?," 6 June 2019 Your need to learn more from this person flatters them. BostonGlobe.com, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY," 18 Dec. 2019 Theatre people will flatter you to your face and stick a knife in your back, that’s a fact. Emilio Fraia, The New Yorker, "Sevastopol," 9 Dec. 2019 The president of Ukraine also very dutifully, almost embarrassingly, scrapes and bows before Trump, flattering him endlessly. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "We’re Asking the Wrong Questions on Ukraine," 26 Sep. 2019 This was a very long letter and clearly tried to play on my sympathy and flatter me. cleveland.com, "Nurse suspects letter from late patient’s husband is a scam: Money Matters," 26 June 2019 Costa has endured a miserable run of form since returning to the club from Chelsea, whilst fellow Stamford Bridge alumni Morata has flattered to deceive since returning to the Spanish capital. SI.com, "Atletico Madrid to Target January Move for Edinson Cavani in Attempt to Boost Firepower," 14 Oct. 2019 Cash tried to flatter Bob Melvin by saying the A's manager would win if the wild-card game turned into a chess match. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "A’s Bob Melvin must be on guard for Rays manager Kevin Cash’s wacky strategies," 2 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The flatter the stroke angle relative to the surface, the longer the paddle required to make solid contact with the water. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Kayak Paddle," 18 Nov. 2019 Surprisingly, even with all the extra recoil and muzzle blast, this cartridge will not shoot any flatter than most 6.5s. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, "10 Best Long-Range Hunting Cartridges," 3 May 2019 With the AccuBond Long Range, Nosler made some wise enhancements to make the bullet shoot flatter and hit harder at distance, while still delivering that legendary Nosler Partition-like lethality. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, "The 10 Best Rifle Bullets for Long-Range Shooting," 17 Dec. 2019 Given the same basic form and muzzle velocity (MV), a 180-grain, .284 bullet will fly flatter, drift less, and retain more energy downrange than a 180-grain .308 bullet . Ron Spomer, Outdoor Life, "7mm Magnum Showdown: 7mm Rem. Mag. vs. .28 Nosler vs. 7mm RUM," 25 Nov. 2019 Technology is one reason why editorial illustrations are looking flatter, sharper, and arguably more generic. Anne Quito, Quartzy, "Why editorial illustrations look so similar these days," 26 Oct. 2019 Today a big concern is deflation, and that concern tends to keep the yield curve flatter. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Econometer: Is the yield curve change a sign of a recession?," 23 Aug. 2019 Turns one and two to are higher-banked, sweeping turns where drivers can use a lot of throttle while turns three and four are flatter turns with a flatter entry, which cause the drivers to balance the steering, throttle and brake more. Jason Hoffman, Cincinnati.com, "Could Alex Bowman get second win and break Chevy's losing streak at the Quaker State 400?," 10 July 2019 The far side is more varied and pocked with craters than the flatter near side. Matthew W. Chwastyk, National Geographic, "Explore 50 years of lunar visits with our newest moon map," 17 June 2019

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1714, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for flatter


Middle English flateren, from Anglo-French flater to lap, flatter, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German flaz flat

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Time Traveler for flatter

Time Traveler

The first known use of flatter was in the 13th century

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Statistics for flatter

Last Updated

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flatter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flatter. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for flatter


How to pronounce flatter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of flatter

: to praise (someone) in a way that is not sincere
: to cause (someone) to feel pleased by showing respect, affection, or admiration
: to show or describe (someone or something) in a way that is very favorable or too favorable


flat·​ter | \ ˈfla-tər How to pronounce flatter (audio) \
flattered; flattering

Kids Definition of flatter

1 : to praise but not sincerely “You haven't changed since the day we met,” Grandpa flattered Grandma.
2 : to cause to feel pleased by showing respect or admiration I was flattered to be asked to sing at the wedding.
3 : to show as favorably as possible This picture flatters me.
4 : to make look more attractive That dress flatters you.

Other Words from flatter

flatterer noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on flatter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flatter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flatter

Spanish Central: Translation of flatter

Nglish: Translation of flatter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flatter for Arabic Speakers

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