From Middle English flat, a borrowing from Old Norse flatr (compare Norwegian and Swedish flat, Danish flad), from Proto-Germanic *flataz, from Proto-Indo-European *pleth₂- (“flat”); akin to Saterland Frisian flot (“smooth”), German Flöz (“a geological layer”), Ancient Greek πλατύς (platús), Latvian plats, Sanskrit प्रथस् (prathas, “extension”). Doublet of plat and pleyt.
- Having no variations in height.
- The land around here is flat.
- In a horizontal line or plane; not sloping.
- a flat roof
- Smooth; having no protrusions, indentations or other surface irregularities, or relatively so.
- The surface of the mirror must be completely flat.
- The carpet isn't properly flat in that corner.
- She has quite a flat face.
- (slang) Having small or invisible breasts and/or buttocks.
- That girl is completely flat on both sides.
- Without variation in level, quantity, value, tone etc.
- The exchange rate has been flat for several weeks.
- At a consistently depressed level; consistently lacklustre.
- Sales have been flat all year, and we've barely broken even.
- (not comparable, commerce) Of fees, fares etc., fixed; unvarying.
- a flat fee
- flat rates
- a flat fare on public transport
- (music, voice) Without variations in pitch.
- He delivered the speech in a flat tone.
- (of colours) Without variation in tone or hue (uniform), and dull (not glossy).
- The walls were painted a flat gray.
- Synonym: matte
- (figurative) Lacking liveliness or action; depressed; uninteresting; dull and boring.
- The party was a bit flat.
- The market is flat today as most traders are on holiday.
- The dialogue in your screenplay is flat — you need to make it more exciting.
- February 16, 1833, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Table Talk
- A large part of the work is, to me, very flat.
- c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene ii]:
- How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable / Seem to me all the uses of this world.
- (music, note) Lowered by one semitone.
- (music) Of a note or voice, lower in pitch than it should be.
- Your A string is flat.
- Absolute; downright; peremptory.
- His claim was in flat contradiction to experimental results.
- I'm not going to the party and that's flat.
- 1589–1592 (date written), Ch[ristopher] Marl[owe], The Tragicall History of D. Faustus. […], London: […] V[alentine] S[immes] for Thomas Bushell, published 1604, →OCLC; republished as Hermann Breymann, editor, Doctor Faustus (Englische Sprach- und Literaturdenkmale des 16., 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts; 5; Marlowes Werke: Historisch-kritische Ausgabe […]; II), Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg: Verlag von Gebr[üder] Henninger, 1889, →OCLC, scene IV, page 38, lines 436–440:
- Wag[ner]. Vilaine, call me Maister Wagner, and let thy left eye be diametarily fixt vpon my right heele, with quasi vestigias nostras insistere [as if to follow in our footsteps]. / Clown. God forgiue me, he speakes Dutch fustian: / Well, Ile folow him, Ill serue him, that's flat.
- 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “Much Adoe about Nothing”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene ii]:
- SECOND WATCH. Marry, that he had received a thousand ducats of Don John for accusing the Lady Hero wrongfully.
DOGBERRY. Flat burglary as ever was committed
- 1602, John Marston, Antonio and Mellida, Malone Society Reprint, 1921, Act I, lines 324-326,
- He is made like a tilting staffe; and lookes
- For all the world like an ore-rosted pigge:
- A great Tobacco taker too, thats flat.
- (of a tire or other inflated object) Deflated, especially because of a puncture.
- (of a carbonated drink) With all or most of its carbon dioxide having come out of solution so that the drink no longer fizzes or contains any bubbles.
- (wine) Lacking acidity without being sweet.
- (of a battery) Unable to emit power; dead.
- (juggling, of a throw) Without spin; spinless.
- (phonetics, dated, of a consonant) Sonant; vocal, as distinguished from a sharp (non-sonant) consonant.
- (grammar) Not having an inflectional ending or sign, such as a noun used as an adjective, or an adjective as an adverb, without the addition of a formative suffix; or an infinitive without the sign "to".
- Many flat adverbs, as in 'run fast', 'buy cheap', etc. are from Old English.
- (golf, of a golf club) Having a head at a very obtuse angle to the shaft.
- (horticulture, of certain fruits) Flattening at the ends.
- (of measurements of time) Exact.
- He finished the race in a flat four minutes.
- (having no variations in altitude): even, planar, plane, smooth, uniform
- (without variations in pitch): monotone
- (uninteresting): boring, dull, uninteresting; see also Thesaurus:boring
- (deflated): deflated, punctured
- (of a carbonated drink: no longer fizzes): still, unfizzy; see also Thesaurus:noneffervescent
- (of wine: lacking acidity): flabby
- (having no variations in altitude): bumpy, cratered, hilly (of terrain), rough (of a surface), wrinkled (of a surface)
- (music: lowered by one semitone): sharp
- (music: lower in pitch than it should be): sharp
- and that's flat
- fall flat
- fall flat on one's face
- flat affect
- flat as a pancake
- flat back four
- flat-bottomed, flatbottomed, flat bottomed
- flat bug
- flat cap
- flat-chested, flatchested
- flat cracker
- flat crossing
- flat design
- flat dog
- flat earthery
- flat-faced longhorn
- flat fare
- flat file
- flatfoot, flat feet
- flat-footed, flatfooted
- flat-headed, flatheaded
- flatiron, flat iron
- flat iron steak
- flat junction
- flat lock
- flat on one's back
- flat out
- flat oval
- flat pack
- flat peach
- flat race
- flat rate
- flat ride
- Flat Rock
- flat rope
- flat scissors
- flat silver
- flat space
- flat spin
- flat spot
- flat tax, flat rate tax
- flat-track bully
- flat twist
- flat tyre, flat tire
- flat wagon
- flat water
- flat white
- flat wrack
- fold flat
- like a cow pissing on a flat rock
- lined flat bark beetle
- lying flat
- that's flat
- → Portuguese: flat
- So as to be flat.
- Spread the tablecloth flat over the table.
- I asked him if he wanted to marry me and he turned me down flat.
- (of accurately measured timings) Exactly, precisely.
- 1996, Jon Byrell, Lairs, Urgers and Coat-Tuggers, Sydney: Ironbark, page 186:
- Dan Patch clocked a scorching 1:55.5 flat.
- In the mile race, Smith's time was 3:58.56, and Brown's was four minutes flat.
- (with units of time, distance, etc) Used to emphasize the smallness of the measurement.
- He can run a mile in four minutes flat.
- I am flat broke this month.
- Directly; flatly.
- , George Herbert, edited by [Nicholas Ferrar], The Temple: Sacred Poems, and Private Ejaculations, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: […] Thomas Buck and Roger Daniel; and are to be sold by Francis Green, […], →OCLC; reprinted London: Elliot Stock, […], 1885, →OCLC:
- Sin is flat opposite to the Almighty.
- (finance, slang) Without allowance for accrued interest.
- The bonds are trading flat.
- (so as to be flat):
- (bluntly): bluntly, curtly
- (not exceeding): tops
- (completely): absolutely, completely, utterly
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
flat (plural flats)
- An area of level ground (sometimes covered with water).
- The hovercraft skimmed across the open flats.
- the eastern end of the salt flat; mud flat, tidal flat, flood flat
- 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 3, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
- My hopes wa'n't disappointed. I never saw clams thicker than they was along them inshore flats. I filled my dreener in no time, and then it come to me that 'twouldn't be a bad idee to get a lot more, take 'em with me to Wellmouth, and peddle 'em out. Clams was fairly scarce over that side of the bay and ought to fetch a fair price.
- (in the phrase 'the flat') Level ground in general.
- I can run on the flat but not up hills.
- The going will be easier once we're through these mountains and onto the flat.
- (horse racing, with 'the' or attributively, sometimes with capital) Level horse-racing ground, as contrasted with courses incorporating jumps, or the racing done on such ground.
- This horse will do better over the flat.
- flat racing, the flat season
- 2020, Brian Sheerin, Racing Post, "Gordon Elliott maps out summer Flat campaigns for talented jumpers" (article) 
- In light of Horse Racing Ireland's Covid-19 contingency plan announcement, that whenever racing resumes the Flat will be given priority, Elliott has decided to keep a number of talented jumpers on the go during the summer, with a view towards a dual-purpose campaign.
- 2021 (retrieved), racing365.com, "Flat Racing Explained" 
- In British horse racing, the classics are a series of horse races run over the flat (i.e. without jumps).
- (Australia, horse racing, with 'the' or attributively, sometimes with capital) the area in the centre of a racecourse.
- 1963, George Blaikie, Scandals of Australia's Strange Past, Adelaide: Rigby Limited, page 117:
- As forecast, Joe suspected nothing as he pottered round the flat in the sunshine, absorbed in the task of picking winners.
- (music) A note played one chromatic semitone lower than a natural, denoted by the symbol ♭ placed after the letter representing the note (e.g., B♭) or in front of the note symbol (e.g. ♭♪).
- The key of E♭ has three flats.
- (informal, automotive) A flat tyre/flat tire.
- 2012 July 15, Richard Williams, Tour de France 2012: Carpet tacks cannot force Bradley Wiggins off track, Guardian Unlimited:
- The next one surrendered his bike, only for that, too, to give him a second flat as he started the descent.
- (in the plural) A type of ladies' shoe with a very low heel.
- She liked to walk in her flats more than in her high heels.
- (in the plural) A type of flat-soled running shoe without spikes.
- (painting) A thin, broad brush used in oil and watercolour painting.
- The flat part of something:
- A wide, shallow container or pallet.
- a flat of strawberries
- (mail) A large mail piece measuring at least 8 1/2 by 11 inches, such as catalogs, magazines, and unfolded paper enclosed in large envelopes.
- (rail transport, US) A railroad car without a roof, and whose body is a platform without sides; a platform car or flatcar.
- 1960 November, David Morgan, “"Piggyback"—U.S. success story”, in Trains Illustrated, page 684:
- For example, when trailers containing new automobiles were first piggybacked two areas of potential damage became evident: (1) diesel locomotive exhaust left a film of oil on the new autos; and (2) auto windshields could be scarred or cracked by the metal-tipped "tell-tales" which warn men atop trains of oncoming bridges or tunnels. Accordingly, automobiles aboard piggyback flats are usually coupled into the train 15 or more cars behind the locomotive; and telltales have been raised.
- A flat-bottomed boat, without keel, and of small draught.
- (geometry) A subset of n-dimensional space that is congruent to a Euclidean space of lower dimension.
- A straw hat, broad-brimmed and low-crowned.
- A flat sheet for use on a bed.
- 1986, New York Magazine, volume 19, number 49, page 20:
- You might think that Americans buy roughly the same number of fitted sheets as flats. Or, considering the market for electric blankets, duvets, and other covers, that consumers buy even more bottom sheets, simply forgoing the tops.
- (publishing) A flat, glossy children's book with few pages.
- 1970, The Publishers Weekly, volume 197, page 85:
- This same publisher notes pricing is a crucial factor in the mass market field of $1, $1.95 and $2.95 "flats."
- A platform on a wheel, upon which emblematic designs etc. are carried in processions.
- (mining) A horizontal vein or ore deposit auxiliary to a main vein; also, any horizontal portion of a vein not elsewhere horizontal.
- (technical, theatre, stagecraft) A rectangular wooden structure covered with masonite, lauan, or muslin, often produced in standard modules, that is used to build wall surfaces on stage. Flats can be painted and outfitted with doors and/or windows to depict a building or other part of a scene. It's a hard-surfaced alternative to a backcloth or backdrop.
- (entomology) Any of various hesperiid butterflies that spread their wings open when they land.
- (historical) An early kind of toy soldier having a flat design.
- 2019, Luigi Toiati, The History of Toy Soldiers, page 78:
- Among the many US museums hosting flats, we may mention the Toy Soldier Museum in the Pocono Mountains, supervised by the historian, collector and dealer J. Hillestad.
- (obsolete) A dull fellow; a simpleton.
- 1836, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., The Music-Grinders:
- […] if you cannot make a speech,
Because you are a flat,
Go very quietly and drop
A button in the hat!
- Short for .
- (optics) A flat (i.e. plane) mirror
- 2013 April 1, Spechler et al., “Advanced Dispersed Fringe Sensing Algorithm for Coarse Phasing Segmented Mirror Telescopes”, in NASA Tech Briefs, retrieved 2021-12-27:
- "When sampling the aperture of a telescope, using auto-collimating flats (ACFs) is more economical"
- (gambling, slang) A cheater's die with the edges shaved to make certain rolls more likely.
- 2005, Fred Cicetti, Local Angles: The Big News in Small Towns, page 78:
- He would slip in his six-ace flats, shaved dice that were made to bring up sevens. He'd throw them just long enough to get well, and then replace them with legitimate cubes.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- (poker slang) To make a flat call; to call without raising.
- (intransitive) To become flat or flattened; to sink or fall to an even surface.
- (intransitive, music, colloquial) To fall from the pitch.
- (transitive, music) To depress in tone, as a musical note; especially, to lower in pitch by half a tone.
- (transitive, dated) To make flat; to flatten; to level.
- 1764, James Granger, The Sugar-Cane: a Poem. In Four Books. With Notes., M.D., Book 1, page 44, note to verse 605:
- The pods, which seldom contain less than thirty nuts of the size of a flatted olive, grow upon the stem and principal branches.
- (transitive, dated) To render dull, insipid, or spiritless; to depress.
- a. 1678 (date written), Isaac Barrow, “(please specify the chapter name or sermon number). The Danger and Mischief of Delaying Repentance”, in The Works of Dr. Isaac Barrow. […], volumes (please specify |volume=I to VII), London: A[braham] J[ohn] Valpy, […], published 1830–1831, →OCLC:
- Passions are allayed, appetites are flatted.
From 1795, alteration of Scots flet (“inner part of a house”), from Middle English flet (“dwelling”), from Old English flet, flett (“ground floor, dwelling”), from Proto-Germanic *flatją (“floor”), from Proto-Germanic *flataz (“flat”), from Proto-Indo-European *pleth₂- (“flat”). Akin to Old Frisian flet, flette (“dwelling, house”). More at flet, flat1.
flat (plural flats)
- (chiefly Britain, New England, New Zealand and Australia, archaic elsewhere) An apartment, usually on one level and usually consisting of more than one room.
- 1905, Sydney Perks, Residential flats of all classes, including artisans' dwellings: a practical treatise on their planning and arrangement, together with chapters on their history, financial matters, etc.,with numerous illustrations, page 204:
- The excellence of French flats is so well known in America, that the owner will often refer to his property as "first class French flats."
- 1953 January 1, “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend”, in My Heart Belongs to Daddy, performed by Marilyn Monroe:
- A kiss may be grand but it won’t pay the rental on your humble flat or help you at the automat.
- 1955 November 3, “Guys and Dolls”, in Guys and Dolls (Original Broadway Cast Recording), performed by Stubby Kaye (as Nicely Nicely Johnson) and Johnny Silver (as Benny Southstreet):
- [NICELY]When you meet a gent paying all kinds of rent for a flat that could flatten the Taj Mahal. [BOTH]Call it sad, call it funny but it’s better than even money that the guy’s only doing it for some doll.
- 1983, Tai Ching Ling, “Relocation and Population Planning: A Study of the Implications of Public Housing and Family Planning in Singapore”, in Wilfredo F. Arce, Gabriel C. Alvarez, editors, Population Change in Southeast Asia, page 184:
- Fifteen percent of this group said that they were not satisfied with the public housing estates and their HDB[Singapore Housing & Development Board] flats (see Tables 11 and 12 respectively).
- 2002, MIchael Ottley, Briefcase on Company Law, page 76:
- The Greater London Council formed the Estmanco company to manage a block of 60 council-owned flats. The council entered into an agreement with the company to sell off the flats to owner-occupiers.
- 2014, Terry Gourvish, Dolphin Square: The History of a Unique Building, page 75:
- When the Dolphin Square's flats were first offered to the public in 1936, the South Block was still under construction, and the North Block was a building site.
- 2021 December 29, Stephen Roberts, “Stories and facts behind railway plaques: Bournemouth (circa 1880)”, in RAIL, number 947, page 60:
- Of course, closure of the West station took away the hotel's raison d'être. In May 2012, the local newspaper reported that this historic hotel, by then rated the town's worst (exemplified by its final review: "Please avoid at all costs"), was to be converted into 31 first-time-buyer one-bedroom flats.
- (apartment): apartment
- → Portuguese: flate
From Middle English flatten, from Old French flatir (“to knock or strike down, dash”), from Frankish *flattjan (“to move the palm of the hand”), from Proto-Germanic *flatjaną (“to make flat, flatten”).
- (transitive, obsolete) To beat or strike; pound
- (transitive) To dash or throw
- (intransitive) To dash, rush
- flatter (“hammer”)
- (Netherlands) IPA(key): /ˈflɛt/
- (Belgium) IPA(key): /ˈflɑt/
- Hyphenation: flat
- Rhymes: -ɛt
- flat house
- “flat” in The Bokmål Dictionary.
- “flat” in The Nynorsk Dictionary.
flat (Brazil) m or (Mozambique) f (plural flats)
- (Brazil, Mozambique) flat, apartment
flat m (genitive singular flat, plural flataichean)
- (saucer): sàsar
|Scottish Gaelic mutation|
|Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.|
- flat (having no variations in altitude)
- Solen reflekterades i spegelns flata yta.
- The sun was reflected in the flat surface of the mirror.
- spineless, being a doormat, abstaining from defending one's convictions
- Han var alldeles för flat mot chefen, och fick inte heller någon löneökning.
- He let the manager walk all over him and did not get a raise.
|Inflection of flat|
|1) Only used, optionally, to refer to things whose natural gender is masculine.|
2) The indefinite superlative forms are only used in the predicative.
3) Dated or archaic
- flat in Svensk ordbok (SO)
- flat in Svenska Akademiens ordlista (SAOL)
- flat in Svenska Akademiens ordbok (SAOB)