English

Definition of flatter verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    flatter

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈflætə(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈflætər//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they flatter
    BrE BrE//ˈflætə(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈflætər//
     
    he / she / it flatters
    BrE BrE//ˈflætəz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈflætərz//
     
    past simple flattered
    BrE BrE//ˈflætəd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈflætərd//
     
    past participle flattered
    BrE BrE//ˈflætəd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈflætərd//
     
    -ing form flattering
    BrE BrE//ˈflætərɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈflætərɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[transitive] flatter somebody to say nice things about somebody, often in a way that is not sincere, because you want them to do something for you or you want to please them Are you trying to flatter me?
  2. 2[transitive] flatter yourself (that…) to choose to believe something good about yourself and your abilities, especially when other people do not share this opinion ‘How will you manage without me?’ ‘Don't flatter yourself.’
  3. 3[transitive] flatter somebody to make somebody seem more attractive or better than they really are That colour doesn't flatter many people. The scoreline flattered England (= they did not deserve to get such a high score). He agreed to do the interview because it flattered his ego.
  4. Word Origin Middle English: perhaps a back-formation from flattery.Idioms to be pleased because somebody has made you feel important or special He was flattered by her attention. I felt flattered at being asked to give a lecture. She was flattered to hear that he had been asking about her. I suppose we should be flattered that he agreed to come at all. (British English) if something flatters to deceive, it appears to be better, more successful, etc. than it really is As with many new bands, their early success flattered to deceive.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: flatter

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