American English

Definition of flat adverb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    jump to other results
  1. 1spread out in a level, straight position, especially against another surface Lie flat and breathe deeply. They pressed themselves flat against the tunnel wall as the train approached.
  2. refusing/denying
  3. 2(informal) in a definite and direct way I made them a reasonable offer, but they turned it down flat.
  4. in music
  5. 3lower than the correct pitch (= how high or low a note sounds) He sings flat all the time. opposite sharp
  6. Idioms if a joke, a story, or an event falls flat, it completely fails to amuse people or to have the effect that was intended Without Jim, the whole evening would have fallen flat.
      fall flat on your face
      jump to other results
    1. 1to fall so that you are lying on your front
    2. 2to fail completely, usually causing embarrassment His next television venture fell flat on its face.
    flat broke (informal)
    jump to other results
    completely broke (= having no money)
      flat out (informal)
      jump to other results
    1. 1as fast or as hard as possible Workers are working flat out to meet the increase in demand for new cars.
    2. 2in a definite and direct way; completely I told him flat out “No.” We had lost all our money and were flat out broke. see also flat-out
    in… flat (informal)
    jump to other results
    used with an expression of time to say that something happened or was done very quickly, in no more than the time stated They changed the tire in three minutes flat (= in only three minutes).
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: flat