- 1 [countable] (British English) a set of rooms for living in, including a kitchen, usually on one floor of a building Do you live in a flat or a house? They're renting a furnished flat on the third floor. a ground-floor flat a new block of flats Many large old houses have been converted into flats. Children from the flats (= the block of flats) across the street were playing outside. CollocationsMoving house Renting live in a rented/(especially North American English) rental property rent/share/move into a furnished house/(British English) flat/(especially North American English) apartment rent a studio/(British English) a studio flat/(especially North American English) a studio apartment/(British English) a bedsit find/get a housemate/(British English) a flatmate/(North American English) a roommate sign/break the lease/rental agreement/contract extend/renew/terminate the lease/(British English) tenancy afford/pay the rent/the bills/(North American English) the utilities (especially British English) fall behind with/ (especially North American English) fall behind on the rent pay/lose/return a damage deposit/(North American English) security deposit give/receive a month’s/two-weeks’ notice to leave/vacate the propertyBeing a landlord have a flat/apartment/room (British English) to let/(especially North American English) for rent rent (out)/lease (out)/ (British English) let (out)/sublet a flat/apartment/house/property collect/increase/raise the rent evict the existing tenants attract/find new/prospective tenants invest in rental property/(British English) property to let/(British English) the buy-to-let marketBuying buy/acquire/purchase a house/(a) property/(especially North American English) (a piece of) prime real estate call/contact/use (British English) an estate agent/(North American English) a Realtor™/(North American English) a real estate agent/broker make/ (British English) put in an offer on a house put down/save for (British English) a deposit on a house make/put/save for (especially North American English) a down payment on a house/home apply for/arrange/take out a mortgage/home loan (struggle to) pay the mortgage make/meet/keep up/cover the monthly mortgage payments/(British English also) repayments (British English) repossess/ (especially North American English) foreclose on somebody’s home/houseSelling put your house/property on the market/up for sale/up for auction increase/lower your price/the asking price have/hold/hand over the deed/(especially British English) deeds of/to the house, land, etc. compare apartment See related entries: Buildings, Types of home level part
- 2[singular] the flat of something the flat level part of something He beat on the door with the flat of his hand. the flat of a sword land
- 3[countable, usually plural] an area of low flat land, especially near water salt flats see also mudflat horse racing
- 4the flat, the Flat [singular] (British English) the season for racing horses on flat ground with no jumps in music
- 5 [countable] a note played a semitone / half step lower than the note that is named. The written symbol is (♭). There are no sharps or flats in the key of C major. opposite sharp compare natural tyre
- 6[countable] (especially North American English) a tyre that has lost air, usually because of a hole We got a flat on the way home. We had to stop to fix a flat. in theatre
- 7[countable] (specialist) a vertical section of scenery used on a theatre stage shoes
- 8 flats (also flatties) [plural] (informal) shoes with a very low heel a pair of flats See related entries: Footwear Word Originnoun senses 2 to 8 Middle English: from Old Norse flatr. noun sense 1 early 19th cent. (denoting a floor or storey): alteration of obsolete flet ‘floor, dwelling’, of Germanic origin and related to flat ‘level’.Extra examples Do you think that the council could find me another flat? Even the prices of small bachelor flats are unbelievable. I’ll meet you back at your flat. Mendelssohn’s Quintet in B flat Our flat is one of the two occupied in the block. She let herself into the flat with the spare key. She lives in the top flat. The flat is located in a modern development. The house has now been converted into flats. The key of E flat major has three flats. The landlady found they had been illegally subletting the flat. The musician rented a flat in a fashionable area of London. The tall blocks of flats dominated the skyline. These birds live on the coastal flats. They converted two rooms of their house into a granny flat for Tony’s elderly mother. They have a flat in Paris and a house in Normandy. They live in the next flat. We got her a flat in the same block as ours. a block of high-rise flats a contract to refurbish 18 council flats a luxury block of flats overlooking the marina mud and sand flats rich in animal life the people who live in the downstairs flat Children from the flats across the street were playing outside. The landlord agreed to let a ground-floor flat to me. They’re renting a furnished flat on the third floor. They’ve just started building a new block of flats near my mum’s house.Idioms (British English) on level ground, without hills or jumps (= for example in horse racing) Overtaking the next cyclist on an Alpine climb is a dozen times harder than on the flat.