Ask Difference

Flatter Definition and Meaning

By Urooj Arif & Maham Liaqat — Published on May 24, 2024
Flatter refers to praise or compliment someone excessively, often insincerely, to gain their favor. e.g., He often flatters his boss hoping for a promotion.

Flatter Definitions

To represent someone in a way that makes them look better than they are.
The portrait flatters him, making him look younger.
To believe something good about oneself, often mistakenly or insincerely.
He flatters himself that he's the best player on the team.
To play upon the vanity or susceptibilities of someone.
He knows how to flatter his clients to make a sale.
To falsely raise hopes or expectations.
The early success flattered them into thinking the project would be easy.
To stroke someone's ego with compliments or attention.
She flattered the celebrity by asking for an autograph.
To smooth over or gloss, especially in speaking or writing.
His speech flattered the contentious issue.
Having a smooth, even surface
A flat field.
Having a relatively broad level surface in relation to thickness or depth
A flat box.
Being in horizontal position; lying down
Flat on his back.
Being without slope or curvature
A flat line on a chart.
Having a low heel or no heel
Flat shoes.
Free of qualification; absolute
A flat refusal.
Fixed; unvarying
A flat rate.
Lacking interest or excitement; dull
A flat scenario.
Lacking in flavor
A flat stew that needs salt.
Having lost effervescence or sparkle
Flat beer.
Deflated. Used of a tire.
Electrically discharged. Used of a storage battery.
Of or relating to a horizontal line that displays no ups or downs and signifies the absence of physiological activity
A flat electroencephalogram indicates a loss of brain function.
Of or relating to a hierarchy with relatively few tiers or levels
A flat organization chart.
Commercially inactive; sluggish
Flat sales for the month.
Unmodulated; monotonous
A flat voice.
Lacking variety in tint or shading; uniform
"The sky was bright but flat, the color of oyster shells" (Anne Tyler).
Not glossy; matte
Flat paint.
Being below the correct pitch.
Being one half step lower than the corresponding natural key
The key of B flat.
Designating the vowel a as pronounced in bad or cat.
(Nautical) Taut. Used of a sail.
(Informal) Having small breasts.
Level with the ground; horizontally.
On or up against a flat surface; at full length.
So as to be flat.
Directly; completely
Went flat against the rules.
Flat broke.
Exactly; precisely
Arrived in six minutes flat.
(Music) Below the intended pitch.
(Business) Without interest charge.
A flat surface or part.
Often flats A stretch of level ground
Salt flats.
A shallow frame or box for seeds or seedlings.
A movable section of stage scenery, usually consisting of a wooden frame and a decorated panel of wood or cloth.
A flatcar.
A deflated tire.
A shoe with a flat heel.
A large flat piece of mail.
A horse that competes in a flat race. Also called runner.
A sign (♭) used to indicate that a note is to be lowered by a semitone.
A note that is lowered a semitone.
(Football) The area of the field to either side of an offensive formation.
A flat-faced swage or hammer used by blacksmiths.
A die plate for flattening metal into strips, as in the manufacture of watch springs.
To make flat; flatten.
(Music) To lower (a note) a semitone.
To sing or play below the proper pitch.
To compliment excessively and often insincerely, especially in order to win favor.
To please or gratify the vanity of
"What really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering" (George Bernard Shaw).
To portray favorably
A photograph that flatters its subject.
To show off becomingly or advantageously.
To practice flattery.
To compliment someone, often (but not necessarily) insincerely and sometimes to win favour.
To enhance someone's vanity by praising them.
To portray someone to advantage.
Her portrait flatters her.
To encourage or cheer someone with (usually false) hope.
A type of set tool used by blacksmiths.
A flat-faced fulling hammer.
A drawplate with a narrow, rectangular orifice, for drawing flat strips such as watch springs.
Someone who flattens, purposely or accidently. Also flattener.
Someone who lives in a rented flat.
One who, or that which, makes flat or flattens.
A flat-faced fulling hammer.
To treat with praise or blandishments; to gratify or attempt to gratify the self-love or vanity of, esp. by artful and interested commendation or attentions; to blandish; to cajole; to wheedle.
When I tell him he hates flatterers,He says he does, being then most flattered.
A man that flattereth his neighbor, spreadeth a net for his feet.
Others he flattered by asking their advice.
To raise hopes in; to encourage or favorable, but sometimes unfounded or deceitful, representations.
To portray too favorably; to give a too favorable idea of; as, his portrait flatters him.
To use flattery or insincere praise.
If it may stand him more in stead to lie,Say and unsay, feign, flatter, or adjure.
Praise somewhat dishonestly
To praise someone excessively, especially to gain favor.
She flatters her teacher by always complimenting her style.
To make someone feel honored or pleased by giving them attention or praise.
His compliments about her writing flattered her.
To show something or someone to their best advantage.
The soft lighting in the room flatters everyone.
To compliment with an ulterior motive of self-interest.
He flatters his colleagues when he needs their help.

Flatter Snonyms


To praise or express approval.
He complimented her on her excellent presentation.


To praise someone excessively or obsequiously.
Some fans adulate celebrities to the point of obsession.


To attract or delight someone in a seemingly effortless way.
He charms everyone with his witty conversation.


To express warm approval or admiration of.
She often praises her students to boost their confidence.


To use flattery or coaxing in order to persuade someone to do something or give one something.
She wheedled her way into getting the job.

Butter up

To flatter someone in order to gain a favor.
He's only buttering you up because he wants an invitation.


To exhibit exaggerated flattery or affection, typically to gain favor.
He fawned over the directors during the meeting.


To persuade someone by flattery or coaxing.
He cajoled her into agreeing with his plan.


To gain favor or favorable acceptance for by deliberate effort.
She tried to ingratiate herself with the new boss.


To talk to someone in a pleasing or funny way in order to persuade them.
He managed to sweet-talk the guard into letting us through.

Flatter Idioms & Phrases

Flatter oneself

To believe mistakenly that one is highly regarded by others.
She flatters herself that she is indispensable at work.

Lay it on thick

To flatter excessively or to an unbelievable degree.
He really laid it on thick, complimenting every aspect of her project.

Flatter one's pride

To make someone feel proud, often by praise or attention.
His speech flattered the audience's pride in their community.

Not to flatter someone

To be honest rather than complimentary.
Not to flatter you, but your singing could use some improvement.

Flatter than a pancake

Used to describe something very flat, often humorously.
His new haircut is flatter than a pancake.

Flatter someone's vanity

To compliment someone in order to make them feel good about themselves.
She knows how to flatter his vanity with just the right words.

Flatter your figure

To wear something that makes one's body appear more attractive.
She chose a dress that flattered her figure.

Flatter to deceive

To appear promising but ultimately disappoint.
The team's early performance flattered to deceive, as they lost later in the season.

Flatter the eye

To appear visually pleasing or attractive.
The garden’s design really flatters the eye with its colors.

Flatter with faint praise

To offer compliments so slight or insincere that they are effectively criticisms.
He flattered the play with faint praise, which didn't help its reputation.

Give the flattest no

To refuse something in a very firm and unyielding manner.
He gave the flattest no when asked to compromise his principles.

Flatter by comparison

To seem better or more attractive when compared to something else.
His modest contributions were flattered by comparison with his brother's laziness.

Flatter someone’s hopes

To encourage or foster someone's aspirations with praise or promises.
The early reviews flattered the author's hopes for a bestseller.

Flatter into submission

To use flattery to overcome someone's objections or resistance.
He flattered her into submission to accept the dubious plan.

Flatter someone’s intellect

To compliment someone's intelligence or thoughtfulness.
The professor's lecture flattered the students' intellects.

Flatter someone's ego

To deliberately make someone feel important or powerful.
The assistant flattered her boss's ego to stay in good standing.

Flatter someone’s taste

To cater or appeal to someone's specific likes or preferences.
The menu was designed to flatter the taste of its upscale clientele.

Flatter one’s image

To enhance or improve one's public perception or appearance.
The celebrity's charity work flattered his image.

Flatter with attention

To focus on someone with praise or compliments to make them feel important.
She was flattered with attention at her retirement party.

Flatter your audience

To praise or cater to the audience to win their favor or approval.
Politicians often flatter their audience with promises.

Flatter Example Sentences

The bright colors in the painting flatter the natural light of the room.
They flatter their clients with personalized gifts.

Common Curiosities

How many syllables are in flatter?

Flatter has two syllables.

How do we divide flatter into syllables?

Flatter is divided into syllables as: flat-ter.

Why is it called flatter?

Flatter comes from the Old French "flater," which means to stroke or caress, metaphorically referring to pleasing or smoothing someone with words.

What is a stressed syllable in flatter?

The stressed syllable in "flatter" is the first syllable: flat.

What is the verb form of flatter?

Flatter itself is the base form of the verb.

What part of speech is flatter?

Flatter is a verb.

What is the singular form of flatter?

Flatter is a verb and does not have a singular form.

What is another term for flatter?

Another term for "flatter" is "compliment."

How is flatter used in a sentence?

Flatter is used to describe giving excessive, often insincere praise. e.g., He tends to flatter his superiors to gain favors.

What is the first form of flatter?

The first form of "flatter" is "flatter."

What is the plural form of flatter?

Flatter is a verb and does not have a plural form.

Is flatter a noun or adjective?

Flatter is a verb.

What is the pronunciation of flatter?

Flatter is pronounced as /ˈflætər/.

Which determiner is used with flatter?

Determiners are not typically used directly with verbs like "flatter."

What is the root word of flatter?

The root word of "flatter" is the Old French "flater."

Is flatter a countable noun?

Flatter is not a noun; it is a verb.

Is flatter a collective noun?

Flatter is not a noun; it is a verb.

Is the word flatter a Gerund?

No, "flattering" would be the gerund form of the verb "flatter."

Which vowel is used before flatter?

There is no standard vowel used before "flatter;" it depends on the context of the sentence.

Is flatter an abstract noun?

No, flatter is a verb, not a noun.

Is the flatter term a metaphor?

"Flatter" can be used metaphorically to mean smoothing over or glossing things in a flattering way.

Is the word “flatter” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

Flatter is a verb, and it can involve a direct object in sentences like "He flatters her."

Which preposition is used with flatter?

Common prepositions used with "flatter" include "with" and "by."

Which article is used with flatter?

As a verb, "flatter" does not typically require an article.

What is the second form of flatter?

The second form of "flatter" is "flattered."

Is flatter an adverb?

No, flatter is not an adverb.

Is flatter a negative or positive word?

Flatter is generally considered negative, as it implies insincerity or excessive praise.

Is the word flatter imperative?

Flatter can be used in the imperative mood in commands, e.g., "Flatter your guests with kind words."

Which conjunction is used with flatter?

Conjunctions are not specifically tied to "flatter;" usage depends on sentence structure.

What is the third form of flatter?

The third form of "flatter" is also "flattered."

What is the opposite of flatter?

The opposite of "flatter" is "criticize" or "insult."

Is flatter a vowel or consonant?

The word "flatter" starts with a consonant.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Co-written by
Maham Liaqat

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