- 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. refusing/denying
- 2(North American English flat out) (informal) in a definite and direct way She told me flat she would not speak to me again. I made them a reasonable offer but they turned it down flat. in music
- 3 lower than the correct pitch (= how high or low a note sounds) He sings flat all the time. opposite sharp Word Originadverb Middle English: from Old Norse flatr.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 Jem, the whole evening would have fallen flat.
- 1to fall so that you are lying on your front
- 2to fail completely, usually causing embarrassment His next television venture fell flat on its face.
- 1as fast or as hard as possible Workers are working flat out to meet the rise in demand for new cars.
- 2(especially North American English) in a definite and direct way; completely I told him flat out ‘No’. It's a 30-year mortgage we just flat out can't handle. see also flat-out