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See also: Flattery



From Middle English flaterye, flaterie, from Old French flaterie, from the verb flater (to flatter). Synchronically analyzable as flatter +‎ -y (forming abstract nouns).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈflæt.ə.ɹi/
    • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈflæt.ɚ.i/
  • Hyphenation: flat‧te‧ry


flattery (countable and uncountable, plural flatteries)

  1. (uncountable) Excessive praise or approval, which is often insincere and sometimes contrived to win favour.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 2, in The Mirror and the Lamp[1]:
      That the young Mr. Churchills liked—but they did not like him coming round of an evening and drinking weak whisky-and-water while he held forth on railway debentures and corporation loans. Mr. Barrett, however, by fawning and flattery, seemed to be able to make not only Mrs. Churchill but everyone else do what he desired.
  2. (countable) An instance of excessive praise.
    • 1651, Jos[eph] Hall, “Soliloq[uy] XI. False Joy.”, in Susurrium cum Deo. Soliloquies: Or, Holy Self-conferences of the Devout Soul, [], 2nd edition, London: [] Will[iam] Hunt, and are to be sold by George Lathum junior, [], →OCLC, page 37:
      But I pitty the flatteries, and ſelfe-applauſes of a careleſſe and impenitent heart: This jollity hath in it much danger, and vvithout ſome change, death.


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