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

Other Words from flatter


flatterer \ ˈfla-​tər-​ər How to pronounce flatter (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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Here are a few gender-neutral haircut ideas that flatter all varieties of face shapes, hair textures, and lifestyles. Abby Dupes, Seventeen, 25 July 2022 The comparison does not flatter any of those parties. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, 19 July 2022 With side pockets, long seams, and stretch from the spandex, this dress is sure to flatter. Emma Seymour, Good Housekeeping, 15 July 2022 Perhaps most tantalizing about Schiaparelli, though as both a woman and a buzzy brand today, is the invention of clothes that flatter their wearer physically and spiritually, and poke at public opinion with totally originality. Rachel Tashjian, Harper's BAZAAR, 5 July 2022 Known for their forgiving fits that flatter the curves of a woman’s body, high-waist bottoms give off a sense of comfort and security, nipping and tucking in just the right places. Kristina Rutkowski, Vogue, 16 June 2022 Not to flatter myself, but my similarity to that character has always been really surprising to me. Chris Willman, Variety, 9 June 2022 The Queen recently proved that a floral shift dress can flatter at any age. Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 3 Apr. 2022 To find the best swimsuits for larger cup sizes, the pros in the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab — fiber scientists who evaluate different swimwear brands — tested to find the best suits to flatter every body type. Emma Seymour, Good Housekeeping, 25 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The signs have long since been phased out by San Francisco officials for a flatter, decidedly less cool design, but Zotto was able to recreate their distinctive font using historic photos. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 Apr. 2021 Thats because the blue light tends to enhance all those imperfections that a soft glow flatters. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 26 Feb. 2020 Claflin and Munn, the film's de facto leads, fare quite a measure worse, owing to their substantial lack of chemistry and line readings that fall flatter than a drunken uncle at the reception. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, 10 Apr. 2020 The graph has two slopes, an extremely steep one and another that is much flatter and extends over a longer period of time. Anna Kuchment, Dallas News, 14 Mar. 2020 The rest of it, including the typeface, has a flatter and more modern look. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, 4 Mar. 2020 The increasing recognition and growth of impact investing and venture capital focused on social impact startups bode well for the future and will play a key role in making the world flatter and a better place for all. Rishad Premji, Quartz India, 9 Feb. 2020 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, 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, 3 May 2019 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near flatter

flattening stone



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Last Updated

17 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Flatter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flatter. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for flatter


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

More from Merriam-Webster on flatter

Nglish: Translation of flatter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flatter for Arabic Speakers


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