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From flat +‎ -ly.



flatly (comparative more flatly, superlative most flatly)

  1. In a physically flat or level manner.
    • 1980, Margaret Drabble, The Middle Ground
      Rabbit country, the working man's uncultivable terrain. Half a mile away, square open patches of yellow sand flatly glittered, and far on the horizon cranes and vast silver cylinders stood about, ghostly shining inhabitants of the marsh.
  2. In a definite manner; in a manner showing complete certainty.
    It was an accusation that he flatly denied.
  3. In a manner that shows no emotion.
    He replied flatly to the policeman's questions.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In sense 2 the collocation is nearly always with a negative idea. To flatly deny. To flatly refuse. To flatly contradict. And so on, similarly.