Meaning of FLAT in English

(~s, ~ter, ~test)

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


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

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

It started a fire in a block of ~s...

Later on, Victor from ~ 10 called.

= apartment

N-COUNT: also N num


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

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

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

The sea was calm, perfectly ~.



Flat means horizontal and not upright.

Two men near him threw themselves ~...

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

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


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

Ellen is walking down the drive with a square ~ 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 ~ and fertile farmlands of the Solway plain...

The landscape became wider, ~ter and very scenic...

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


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

The salt marshes and mud ~s attract large numbers of waterfowl.

N-COUNT: usu pl, usu n N


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

He slammed the counter with the ~ of his hand.

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

N-COUNT: usu sing, the N of n


Flat shoes have no heels or very low heels.

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

ADJ: usu ADJ n

Flats are ~ shoes. (AM)

His mother looked ten years younger in jeans and ~s.



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



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

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



A drink that is ~ is no longer fizzy.

Could this really stop the champagne from going ~?

? fizzy



A ~ 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 ~.



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

The condition of ~ feet runs in families.



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

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



He ~ly refused to discuss it...

ADV: usu ADV with v, also ADV adj


If you say that something happened, for example, in ten seconds ~ or ten minutes ~, 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 ~...

ADJ: num n ADJ emphasis


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

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

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

= fixed

? variable



If trade or business is ~, 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 ~...

= sluggish



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

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



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

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

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



I know you,’ he said ~ly, 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 ~ Piano Trio (Opus 99).

? sharp



If someone sings ~ or if a musical instrument is ~, 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 ~.

ADV: ADV after v

Flat is also an adjective.

He had been fired because his singing was ~.



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

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

PHRASE: v-link PHR emphasis


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

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

PHRASE: V inflects, oft PHR on n


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

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

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

= fail

PHRASE: V inflects


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

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

= skint

PHRASE: v-link PHR emphasis


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

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

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

PHRASE: PHR after v, PHR n


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

That allegation is a ~-out lie...

PHRASE: PHR n/adj, PHR with v emphasis


On the ~ means on level ground.

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



in a ~ spin: see spin

Collins COBUILD.      Толковый словарь английского языка для изучающих язык Коллинз COBUILD (международная база данных языков Бирмингемского университета) .