flattering

adjective flat·ter·ing \ ˈfla-tər-iŋ \

Definition of flattering

1 : marked by flattery: such as
a : 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
b : excessively or insincerely complimentary
  • … a steady stream of ham actors, all of whom were welcomed with flattering speeches.
  • —H. L. Mencken
2 : 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

First Known Use of flattering

15th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
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