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 The two of them worked on flattering and placating me, instead of addressing my concerns about her obvious prejudices. Megan Greenwell, New York Times, "My Librarian Boss Hates Science and Public Services. Help!," 8 Aug. 2019 Pitt, as Fauci, joked about the women who send him flattering emails and pointedly corrected things President Trump has said. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Dr. Fauci thinks Brad Pitt "did great" impersonating him on "Saturday Night Live"," 28 Apr. 2020 Many of these less-than-flattering mistruths have been manufactured by those in the animal rights movement that oppose animal ambassador programs of any sort. Gina Vaynshteyn, refinery29.com, "Doc Antle’s Park From Tiger King Is Open During The COVID-19 Pandemic," 27 Mar. 2020 The coolest of cool reds, this iconic shade is flattering on virtually everyone, with subtle blue undertones that brighten teeth and the whites of the eyes in one fell swoop. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "10 Cult Classic Lipstick Shades Every Beauty Lover Must Know," 29 July 2019 No back fat bulge showing, no pants pinching, just soft, pretty cotton creating an uber-flattering silhouette. Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, "Move over Amazon coat, the 'nightgown dress' is going viral," 21 Oct. 2019 The asymmetric neckline flattered Lady Gaga’s 5-foot-1 frame and furthermore showcased her signature sense of dramatic flair. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Red Carpet Rundown: 37 Memorable Looks From the Emmys," 19 Sep. 2019 Her boutique in town features many of her own signature designs created to flatter any body type with their elegant, modern, and chic styles to compliment any wardrobe. Sonia Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, "Houston fashion designers are leaving their mark on the fashion industry," 6 Mar. 2020 The World Health Organization would not be tiptoeing around, trying to flatter the local government. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Coronavirus: Death by Kowtow," 24 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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, "What to watch (and skip) via VOD and Netflix this weekend," 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, "Is it too late to stop the coronavirus?," 14 Mar. 2020 The rest of it, including the typeface, has a flatter and more modern look. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "BMW redesigns its iconic logo," 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, "New technologies have historically led to increased inequality—not anymore," 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, "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

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

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flatter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flatter. Accessed 25 May. 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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