flat·​ter·​ing ˈfla-tər-iŋ How to pronounce flattering (audio)
: marked by flattery: such as
: showing or expressing gratifying respect or admiration
a flattering comparison
His colleagues might have disowned him, but they didn't receive flattering invitations to speak all over the country and to write for The New York Times.Richard Dawkins
: excessively or insincerely complimentary
… a steady stream of ham actors, all of whom were welcomed with flattering speeches.H. L. Mencken
: helping to enhance attractiveness
a necktie in a flattering color
… dictating the most flattering camera angles.David Margolick
The gowns were indeed smashing: smart, sexy, eye-catching, and very, very flattering.The New Yorker
flatteringly adverb
The so-called Generation X has been described by some—not flatteringly—as a scavenger culture that gathers music, art and fashions from recent past generations rather than creating its own. Steve Hochman
Her upper body is all besuited business—the black jacket, the white blouse reflecting flatteringly on the face, the understated silver choker and earrings, the burnished brown bob. Rebecca Mead

Examples of flattering in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Levi’s 733 Box Quilted Puffer Jacket Levi’s may be known for its jeans, but this quilted puffer jacket is also guaranteed to make a splash this season thanks to a waist-length fit and cinched, drawcord hem that prove to be both flattering and warm. Merrell Readman, Travel + Leisure, 4 Dec. 2023 Kate Middleton is just one of the famous fans of pleats — the style is flattering and breathable. Nicol Natale, Peoplemag, 1 Dec. 2023 Tracy Chapman, LeAnn Rimes, Teddy Swims, Gary LeVox, and Tim McGraw have all liked or commented on the posts, with Swims and McGraw both recently posting flattering reaction videos to the covers, and LeVox co-writing a song with Cieri that’s yet to be released. Aileen Goos, SPIN, 30 Nov. 2023 Balloon fit bottoms are super flattering on so many body types. Devine Blacksher, Essence, 29 Nov. 2023 La Ligne smocked fit and flare dress A universally flattering silhouette like this fit-and-flare option is an essential in any closet. Porter Simmons, Vogue, 27 Nov. 2023 The midi length also offers a flattering and generous fit. Wendy Vazquez, Southern Living, 24 Nov. 2023 Spanx’s flared jeans are designed with premium stretch denim, offer a high-rise waist, and have hidden core-shaping technology for a flattering fit. Nicol Natale, Peoplemag, 22 Nov. 2023 This flattering cozy lounge set with a v-neck top and wide-leg pants is the ideal choice for a comfortable and stylish lazy day outfit. Kathy Barr, Rolling Stone, 21 Nov. 2023 See More

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of flattering was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near flattering

Cite this Entry

“Flattering.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flattering. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

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