Meaning of FLAT in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ flæt ]

( flats, flatter, flattest)

Frequency: The word is one of the 1500 most common words in English.


A flat is a set of rooms for living in, usually on one floor and part of a larger building. A flat usually includes a kitchen and bathroom. ( mainly BRIT; in AM, usually use apartment )

Sara lives with her husband and children in a flat in central London...

It started a fire in a block of flats...

Later on, Victor from flat 10 called.

= apartment

N-COUNT : also N num


Something that is flat is level, smooth, or even, rather than sloping, curved, or uneven.

Tiles can be fixed to any surface as long as it’s flat, firm and dry...

After a moment his right hand moved across the cloth, smoothing it flat...

The sea was calm, perfectly flat.



Flat means horizontal and not upright.

Two men near him threw themselves flat...

As heartburn is usually worse when you’re lying down in bed, you should avoid lying flat.

ADJ : ADJ n , v-link ADJ , ADJ after v


A flat object is not very tall or deep in relation to its length and width.

Ellen is walking down the drive with a square flat box balanced on one hand.

= shallow

ADJ : usu ADJ n


Flat land is level, with no high hills or other raised parts.

To the north lie the flat and fertile farmlands of the Solway plain...

The landscape became wider, flatter and very scenic...

ADJ : ADJ n , v-link ADJ , ADJ after v


A low flat area of uncultivated land, especially an area where the ground is soft and wet, can be referred to as flats or a flat .

The salt marshes and mud flats attract large numbers of waterfowl.

N-COUNT : usu pl , usu n N


You can refer to one of the broad flat surfaces of an object as the flat of that object.

He slammed the counter with the flat of his hand.

...eight cloves of garlic crushed with the flat of a knife.

N-COUNT : usu sing , the N of n


Flat shoes have no heels or very low heels.

People wear slacks, sweaters, flat shoes, and all manner of casual attire for travel.

ADJ : usu ADJ n

Flats are flat shoes. ( AM )

His mother looked ten years younger in jeans and flats.



A flat tyre, ball, or balloon does not have enough air in it.



A flat is a tyre that does not have enough air in it.

Then, after I finally got back on the highway, I developed a flat.



A drink that is flat is no longer fizzy.

Could this really stop the champagne from going flat?

≠ fizzy



A flat battery has lost some or all of its electrical charge. ( mainly BRIT; in AM, use dead )

His car alarm had been going off for two days and, as a result, the battery was flat.



If you have flat feet, the arches of your feet are too low.

The condition of flat feet runs in families.



A flat denial or refusal is definite and firm, and is unlikely to be changed.

The Foreign Ministry has issued a flat denial of any involvement...


• flat‧ly

He flatly refused to discuss it...

ADV : usu ADV with v , also ADV adj


If you say that something happened, for example, in ten seconds flat or ten minutes flat , you are emphasizing that it happened surprisingly quickly and only took ten seconds or ten minutes.

You’re sitting behind an engine that’ll move you from 0 to 60mph in six seconds flat...

ADJ : num n ADJ [ emphasis ]


A flat rate, price, or percentage is one that is fixed and which applies in every situation.

Fees are charged at a flat rate, rather than on a percentage basis...

Sometimes there’s a flat fee for carrying out a particular task...

= fixed

≠ variable



If trade or business is flat , it is slow and inactive, rather than busy and improving or increasing.

During the first eight months of this year, sales of big pickups were up 14% while car sales stayed flat...

= sluggish



If you describe something as flat , you mean that it is dull and not exciting or interesting.

The past few days have seemed comparatively flat and empty...



You use flat to describe someone’s voice when they are saying something without expressing any emotion.

‘Whatever you say,’ he said in a deadly flat voice. ‘I’ll sit here and wait.’...

Her voice was flat, with no question or hope in it.


• flat‧ly

I know you,’ he said flatly, matter-of-fact, neutral in tone.

ADV : ADV after v


Flat is used after a letter representing a musical note to show that the note should be played or sung half a tone lower than the note which otherwise matches that letter. Flat is often represented by the symbol ♭ after the letter.

...Schubert’s B flat Piano Trio (Opus 99).

≠ sharp



If someone sings flat or if a musical instrument is flat , their singing or the instrument is slightly lower in pitch than it should be.

Her vocal range was, to say the least of it, limited, and she had a distressing tendency to sing flat.

ADV : ADV after v

Flat is also an adjective.

He had been fired because his singing was flat.



If you say that something is as flat as a pancake , you are emphasizing that it is completely flat.

My home state of Illinois is flat as a pancake...

PHRASE : v-link PHR [ emphasis ]


If you fall flat on your face, you fall over.

A man walked in off the street and fell flat on his face, unconscious.

PHRASE : V inflects , oft PHR on n


If an event or attempt falls flat or falls flat on its face , it is unsuccessful.

Liz meant it as a joke but it fell flat...

If it wasn’t for the main actress, Ellen Barkin, the plot would have fallen flat on its face.

= fail

PHRASE : V inflects


If you say that you are flat broke , you mean that you have no money at all. ( INFORMAL )

Two years later he is flat broke and on the dole.

= skint

PHRASE : v-link PHR [ emphasis ]


If you do something flat out , you do it as fast or as hard as you can.

Everyone is working flat out to try to trap those responsible...

They hurtled across the line in a flat-out sprint.

PHRASE : PHR after v , PHR n


You use flat out to emphasize that something is completely the case. ( mainly AM INFORMAL )

That allegation is a flat-out lie...

PHRASE : PHR n / adj , PHR with v [ emphasis ]


On the flat means on level ground.

He had angina and was unable to walk for more than 200 yards on the flat.



in a flat spin: see spin

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.