1. adj., adv., n., & v.
--adj. (flatter, flattest)
1. a horizontally level (a flat roof). b even; smooth; unbroken; without projection or indentation (a flat stomach). c with a level surface and little depth; shallow (a flat cap; a flat heel).
2 unqualified; plain; downright (a flat refusal; a flat denial).
3 a dull; lifeless; monotonous (spoke in a flat tone). b without energy; dejected.
4 (of a fizzy drink) having lost its effervescence.
5 (of an accumulator, a battery, etc.) having exhausted its charge.
6 Mus. a below true or normal pitch (the violins are flat). b (of a key) having a flat or flats in the signature. c (as B, E , etc. flat) a semitone lower than B, E, etc.
7 Photog. lacking contrast.
8 a (of paint etc.) not glossy; matt. b (of a tint) uniform.
9 (of a tyre) punctured; deflated.
10 (of a market, prices, etc.) inactive; sluggish.
11 of or relating to flat-racing.
1. lying at full length; spread out, esp. on another surface (lay flat on the floor; the ladder was flat against the wall).
2 colloq. a completely, absolutely (turned it down flat; flat broke). b exactly (in five minutes flat).
3 Mus. below the true or normal pitch (always sings flat).
1. the flat part of anything; something flat (the flat of the hand).
2 level ground, esp. a plain or swamp.
3 Mus. a a note lowered a semitone below natural pitch. b the sign (!!!) indicating this.
4 (as the flat) Brit. a flat racing. b the flat racing season.
5 Theatr. a flat section of scenery mounted on a frame.
6 esp. US colloq. a flat tyre.
7 sl. a foolish person.
--v.tr. (flatted, flatting)
1. make flat, flatten (esp. in technical use).
2 US Mus. make (a note) flat.
Phrases and idioms:
fall flat fail to live up to expectations; not win applause. flat arch Archit. an arch with a flat lower or inner curve. flat (or flat-bottomed) boat a boat with a flat bottom for transport in shallow water. flat-fish any marine fish of various families having an asymmetric appearance with both eyes on one side of a flattened body, including sole, turbot, plaice, etc. flat foot a foot with a less than normal arch. flat-four (of an engine) having four cylinders all horizontal, two on each side of the crankshaft. flat-head
1. any marine fish of the family Platycephalidae, having a flattened body with both eyes on the top side.
2 sl. a foolish person. flat-iron hist. an iron heated externally and used for pressing clothes etc. flat out 1 at top speed.
2 using all one's strength, energy, or resources. flat race a horse race over level ground, as opposed to a steeplechase or hurdles. flat-racing the racing of horses in flat races. flat rate a rate that is the same in all cases, not proportional.
1. Aeron. a nearly horizontal spin.
2 colloq. a state of agitation or panic.
1. US Aeron. sl. an aircraft-carrier.
2 sl. a man's short flat haircut. that's flat colloq. let there be no doubt about it.
flatly adv. flatness n. flattish adj.
Etymology: ME f. ON flatr f. Gmc 2. n. & v.
--n. a set of rooms, usu. on one floor, used as a residence.
--v.intr. (flatted, flatting) (often foll. by with) Austral. share a flat with.
Etymology: alt. f. obs. flet floor, dwelling f. Gmc (as FLAT(1))