flat

adjective
\ ˈflat How to pronounce flat (audio) \
flatter; flattest

Definition of flat

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : lying at full length or spread out upon the ground : prostrate The soldiers were lying flat on the ground.
b : utterly ruined or destroyed buildings flat from the blast
c : resting with a surface against something Push the chairs flat against the wall.
2a : having a continuous horizontal surface the flat landscape of the prairie
b : being or characterized by a horizontal line or tracing without peaks or depressions a flat EEG
3 : having a relatively smooth or even surface a flat computer disk
4 : arranged or laid out so as to be level or even maps flat on the desk
5a : having the major surfaces essentially parallel and distinctly greater than the minor surfaces a flat piece of wood
b of a shoe heel : very low and broad flat shoes for work
6a : clearly unmistakable a flat denial
b(1) : not varying : fixed a flat rate
(2) : having no fraction either lacking or in excess : exact in a flat 10 seconds
(3) of a frequency response : not varying significantly throughout its range
7a : lacking in animation, zest, or vigor : dull He spoke in a flat, tired voice.
b : lacking flavor : tasteless The stew is too flat.
c : lacking effervescence or sparkle flat ginger ale
d : commercially inactive also : characterized by no significant rise or decline from one period to another sales were flat
e of a tire : lacking air : deflated
f chiefly British, of a battery : dead sense 3c, discharged
8a(1) of a tone : lowered a half step in pitch
(2) : lower than the proper pitch
b of the vowel a : pronounced as in bad or bat
9a : having a low trajectory (see trajectory sense 1) made a flat pass that was intercepted
b of a tennis stroke : made so as to give little or no spin to the ball
10 : not having an inflectional ending flat adverbs
11 of a sail : taut
12a : uniform in hue or shade figures standing out against a background of flat wash
b : having little or no illusion of depth
c of a photograph or negative : lacking contrast
d of lighting conditions : lacking shadows or contours
e : free from gloss : having a nonreflective finish a flat paint
f : two-dimensional sense 3 flat characters
13 : of, relating to, or used in competition on the flat a flat horse
14 of a universe : having a mass such that expansion halts only after infinite time and collapse never occurs

flat

noun

Definition of flat (Entry 2 of 4)

1a : a level surface of land usually used in plural sagebrush flatstidal flats
b : a stretch of land without obstacles especially : a track or course for a flat race usually used with the has won twice on the flat
2 : a flat part or surface the flat of one's hand
3a : a musical note or tone one half step lower than a specified note or tone
b : a character ♭ on a line or space of the musical staff indicating a half step drop in pitch
4 : something flat: such as
a : a shallow container for shipping produce
b : a shallow box in which seedlings are started
c : a flat piece of theatrical scenery
d : a shoe or slipper having a flat heel or no heel
5 chiefly British : an apartment on one floor
6 : a deflated tire
7 : the area to either side of an offensive football formation

flat

adverb

Definition of flat (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : in a flat manner : directly, positively
2 : in a complete manner : absolutely flat broke
3 : below the proper musical pitch
4 : without interest charge especially : without allowance or charge for accrued interest bonds sold flat

flat

verb
flatted; flatting

Definition of flat (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : flatten
2 : to lower in pitch especially by a half step

intransitive verb

: to sing or play below the true pitch

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Other Words from flat

Adjective

flatly adverb
flatness noun
flattish \ ˈfla-​tish How to pronounce flat (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for flat

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adverb

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Choose the Right Synonym for flat

Adjective

level, flat, plane, even, smooth mean having a surface without bends, curves, or irregularities. level applies to a horizontal surface that lies on a line parallel with the horizon. the vast prairies are nearly level flat applies to a surface devoid of noticeable curvatures, prominences, or depressions. the work surface must be flat plane applies to any real or imaginary flat surface in which a straight line between any two points on it lies wholly within that surface. the plane sides of a crystal even applies to a surface that is noticeably flat or level or to a line that is observably straight. trim the hedge so it is even smooth applies especially to a polished surface free of irregularities. a smooth skating rink

insipid, vapid, flat, jejune, banal, inane mean devoid of qualities that make for spirit and character. insipid implies a lack of sufficient taste or savor to please or interest. an insipid romance with platitudes on every page vapid suggests a lack of liveliness, force, or spirit. an exciting story given a vapid treatment flat applies to things that have lost their sparkle or zest. although well-regarded in its day, the novel now seems flat jejune suggests a lack of rewarding or satisfying substance. a jejune and gassy speech banal stresses the complete absence of freshness, novelty, or immediacy. a banal tale of unrequited love inane implies a lack of any significant or convincing quality. an inane interpretation of the play

Examples of flat in a Sentence

Adjective the flat top of the table the flat landscape of the prairie Coins are usually round and flat. a flat piece of wood Noun the flat of your hand the flat of a sword Adverb Lay the map flat on the desk. He slipped and landed flat on his back. We asked for more time but they turned us down flat.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective While rents have fallen in many big cities, vacancy rates for the cheapest buildings are essentially flat from last year, according to CoStar Group, a commercial property group. Conor Dougherty, New York Times, "Pandemic’s Toll on Housing: Falling Behind, Doubling Up," 6 Feb. 2021 Each patch was about as flat and wide as a quarter, and wired to a stimulator the size of a chunky old cell phone. Max G. Levy, Wired, "A New Way to Restore Hand Mobility—With an Electrified Patch," 29 Jan. 2021 If cases are increasing at the same rate as your testing capabilities, the positivity rate would stay relatively flat. Popular Science, "5 graphs that show how bad COVID-19 is in LA County," 25 Jan. 2021 Graduation rates for the city’s white and Asian students statewide were roughly flat. Lee Hawkins, WSJ, "New York City Graduation Rate Up Amid Covid-19 Pandemic Exemptions," 14 Jan. 2021 The problem is that the key segment of the PCSK9 protein is largely flat, providing no quarter for small-molecule drugs that might bind to its surface and shut it down. Damian Garde, STAT, "What if a pill could lower cholesterol like pricey injectables? Esperion intends to find out," 13 Jan. 2021 Houston came out flat after Friday night’s blowout win over the Magic and the Lakers had a 19-point lead at halftime. Kristie Rieken, Chron, "Anthony Davis has 27 points as Lakers roll past Rockets," 10 Jan. 2021 Opposition to the president has been a unifying force among their core supporters, and Democrats believe Republicans' overall tenor falls flat with voters in the middle. Arkansas Online, "Loeffler, Perdue run hard-line pitch in swing state Georgia," 1 Jan. 2021 Garrett secured the legs of Jets QB Sam Darnold and Richardson went airborne to lay Darnold flat on his back. cleveland, "Top 20 Cleveland Browns pictures from 2020 by cleveland.com photographers," 31 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Newer buildings often have better ventilation systems, and places like malls are much better than, for example, a small Victorian flat that’s been converted into a boutique store. Annie Vainshtein, SFChronicle.com, "Why CO2 monitors may be part of the solution to reopening indoor spaces safely," 5 Jan. 2021 As a Fulbright scholar, Professor Hackett lived in a tiny flat in Munich, where his strict landlady brought him crusty rolls each morning for breakfast. Alex Vadukul, New York Times, "David Hackett, Historian and Holocaust Expert, Dies at 80," 15 Dec. 2020 On second-and-goal from the 10, Lawrence a touchdown pass to Cornell Powell in the right flat. Chris Dabe, NOLA.com, "Ohio State routs Clemson in Sugar Bowl, will face Alabama for national title," 1 Jan. 2021 Part of the problem with that is that quick bubble screens and 2-yard throws in the flat can become far too predictable and can produce diminished returns over time. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "Here are tweaks Seahawks, Ravens and 2 other NFL playoff contenders should consider," 12 Dec. 2020 The incredible display normally doesn’t stop with the yard, which is blanketed in light-up Christmas figurines: the entire inside of his one-floor flat will be decorated as well. Tara Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Eight Elaborate Christmas Displays Across America—and the People Behind Them," 9 Dec. 2020 Irving is 17, the youngest of seven siblings, and lives in a two-flat in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood with her mother, her sister, her niece and the star of her three-minute film — her 4-year-old nephew, Ja’King Jones. Mary Schmich, chicagotribune.com, "Column: This filmmaking program allows young women ‘cycle breakers’ to share what they see in the world," 13 Nov. 2020 Without any opposition, Sweat shot his hands into the air to deflect and intercept a Dalton pass intended for Elliott in the right flat. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, "In a season of relentless injuries, losing Zack Martin, Cam Erving hits Cowboys’ battered offensive line hard," 26 Nov. 2020 Over in Oxford, Maggie has pulled up to her new flat in a taxi with no correct currency to pay for it. Ruth Kinane, EW.com, "A Million Little Things season 3 premiere recap: Will Eddie survive?," 20 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The first iteration is a flat-out masterpiece with one of the best modern TV performances from Sarah Paulson, and the second is pretty interesting in its own right. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, "The 100 Best TV Shows on Netflix Right Now," 1 Feb. 2021 But anyone who has watched the Ducks closely the last couple of season recognizes that in order to take a step forward what Oregon most needs now is staff that can flat teach and coach. John Canzano, oregonlive, "Canzano: Oregon Ducks defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter has a tale rooted in fatherhood," 25 Jan. 2021 Hinge forward at your waist and allow your arms to dangle down in front of you and then place the palms of your hands down flat on the mat. Stephanie Mansour, CNN, "Whether you have just 5, 10 or 15 minutes, these stress relief workouts can help," 22 Dec. 2020 Connecticut’s performance spaces have been dark for nine months due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving those stages with flat-lining revenues and often massive staff reductions. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "$15 billion ‘Save Our Stages’ fund in stimulus bill could be lifesaving for Connecticut theaters, but it’s too early to tell," 22 Dec. 2020 Down fill is not entirely the same as a feather fill, which is slightly less expensive and tends to fall flat faster. Carsen Joenk, Popular Science, "The best pillow: Sleep better in any position," 11 Dec. 2020 More affordable sections of the market — or units under $1 million — are staying flat or declining. Annie Vainshtein, SFChronicle.com, "Luxury home sales are skyrocketing in the Bay Area right now. The pandemic helps explain why," 9 Dec. 2020 Instead, Subaru replaced the BRZ's current 2.0-liter flat-four with its 2.4-liter of the same configuration. Scott Oldham, Car and Driver, "2022 Subaru BRZ Gets Prettier and More Powerful," 20 Nov. 2020 The Mary Jane shoe, traditionally a low-cut flat crossed by a single strap that fastens with a snap, button or bar, is one of those styles that never quite leaves the fashion consciousness. WSJ, "Seven Perfect Mary Janes to Wear This Winter," 7 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb By flatting the top, more main string gets lengthened, also improving control. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Tennis Racket Technology Is Way More Elaborate Than You Think," 21 Jan. 2020 Lead is harmful at any dose, and especially toxic to the nervous system; arsenic can flat-out kill you, the inspector general wrote. Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, "A superfund site in Montana sold bags of hazardous waste as souvenirs," 19 Nov. 2019 The main assumptions are 11 million barrels a day of crude oil production, Brent flat at $65 a barrel, net refining margins of $3 a barrel and chemicals net margins of $100 a tonne. Washington Post, "Aramco’s Cash Flow Gets the Royal Treatment," 4 Oct. 2019 Brian Snyder, Arizona Republic One can flat shoot it. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "What Cameron Johnson, Ty Jerome and Jalen Lecque can bring to the Suns now, in the future," 3 July 2019 Thoughtfully, my mother suspected this might be the case, and a few days before the wedding found an ideal backup: Manolo Blahnik flats with ample space for injured toes. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "“The Age of Innocence on Acid” Was the Design Directive For This Wedding at the National Arts Club," 12 July 2019 Plus, the dude can flat-out sing, though no one else matches his pitch-perfect acting turn. USA TODAY, "Review: Endearing, imperfect 'Yesterday' imagines a world without The Beatles," 26 June 2019 The fashionable royal has shown us that flats like knee-high boots and sneakers can be just as stylish (and functional) on the job, and yesterday was no exception. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Jokes About Changing from High Heels to Combat Boots," 29 Mar. 2019 The curve was also this flat a few times where no inversion or recession followed and stocks did well, such as in the mid-1990s. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Afraid of the Yield Curve? You’re Looking at the Wrong One," 6 Dec. 2018

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1604, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for flat

Adjective, Noun, Adverb, and Verb

Middle English, from Old Norse flatr; akin to Old High German flaz flat, and probably to Greek platys broad — more at place

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Time Traveler for flat

Time Traveler

The first known use of flat was in the 14th century

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Statistics for flat

Last Updated

16 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flat. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for flat

flat

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of flat

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: having a smooth, level, or even surface : not having curves or bumps
: having a wide, smooth surface and little thickness
of a shoe heel : very low and wide also, of a shoe : having a flat heel or no heel

flat

noun

English Language Learners Definition of flat (Entry 2 of 3)

: a level area of land
: a flat part or surface
: a musical note that is one semitone lower than a specified note

flat

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of flat (Entry 3 of 3)

: on or against a flat surface
: in the position of someone or something that is lying spread out on the ground or another surface
: exactly or precisely

flat

adjective
\ ˈflat How to pronounce flat (audio) \
flatter; flattest

Kids Definition of flat

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : having a smooth level surface a flat rock
2 : spread out on or along a surface He was lying flat on his back.
3 : having a broad smooth surface and little thickness A CD is flat.
4 : very clear and definite a flat refusal
5 : not changing in amount I charge a flat rate.
6 : not showing active business Sales are flat.
7 : dull entry 1 sense 3 a flat story She spoke in a flat, tired voice.
8 : having lost air a flat tire
9 : no longer having bubbles flat ginger ale
10 : lower than the true musical pitch
11 : lower by a half step in music
12 : not shiny flat paint

Other Words from flat

flatly adverb He flatly refused to help.

flat

noun

Kids Definition of flat (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a level area of land : plain
2 : a flat part or surface the flat of the hand
3 : a note or tone that is a half step lower than the note named
4 : a sign ♭ meaning that the pitch of a musical note is to be lower by a half step
5 : a tire that has lost air

flat

adverb

Kids Definition of flat (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : on or against a flat surface lie flat
2 : without any time more or less : exactly ten seconds flat
3 : below the true musical pitch

flat

adjective
\ ˈflat How to pronounce flat (audio) \
flatter; flattest

Medical Definition of flat

1 : being or characterized by a horizontal line or tracing without peaks or depressions the EEG is ominously flat indicating that her brain function is gone— Don Gold
2 : characterized by general impoverishment in the presence of emotion-evoking stimuli flat affect often occurs in schizophrenia

Other Words from flat

flatness noun

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flat

adjective

Legal Definition of flat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not varying a flat rate specifically, of a tax : having a rate that remains constant for any taxable base

flat

adverb

Legal Definition of flat (Entry 2 of 2)

: without interest charge especially : without allowance or charge for accrued interest bonds sold flat

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Comments on flat

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