American English

Definition of flat adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (flatter, flattest)
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  1. 1having a level surface, not curved or sloping low buildings with flat roofs People used to think the earth was flat. Exercise is the only way to get a flat stomach after having a baby. The sails hung limply in the flat calm (= conditions at sea when there is no wind and the water is completely level).
  2. 2(of land) without any slopes or hills The road stretched ahead across the flat landscape. The desert was flat, mile after mile. He reached a flatter section of land near the river.
  3. 3(of surfaces) smooth and even; without lumps or holes I need a flat surface to write on. We found a large flat rock to sit on.
  4. not high
  5. 4broad but not very high Tortillas are a kind of flat Mexican bread. flat shoes (= with no heels or very low ones)
  6. dull
  7. 5dull; lacking interest or enthusiasm He felt very flat after his friends went home. It was a curiously flat note on which to end the election campaign.
  8. voice
  9. 6not showing much emotion; not changing much in tone Her voice was flat and expressionless. He spoke in a flat Midwestern accent.
  10. colors/pictures
  11. 7very smooth, with no contrast between light and dark, and giving no impression of depth Acrylic paints can be used to create large, flat blocks of color.
  12. business
  13. 8not very successful because very little is being sold The housing market has been flat for months.
  14. refusal/denial
  15. 9[only before noun] not allowing discussion or argument; definite Her request was met with a flat refusal. He gave a flat “No!” to one reporter's question. These results are in flat contradiction to the theory of relativity.
  16. in music
  17. 10used after the name of a note to mean a note a half step lower That note should be B flat, not B. opposite sharp compare natural
  18. 11below the correct pitch (= how high or low a note sounds) The high notes were slightly flat. opposite sharp
  19. drink
  20. 12no longer having bubbles in it; not fresh The soda was warm and had gotten flat.
  21. tire
  22. 13not containing enough air, usually because of a hole
  23. feet
  24. 14with no natural raised curves underneath see also flat-footed
    noun [uncountable]
  26. Idioms
    as flat as a pancake
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    completely flat The country around here is as flat as a pancake.
    (flat) on your back (informal)
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    in bed because you are sick She's been flat on her back for over a week now. (figurative) The bonds market was flat on its back (= business was very bad).
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: flat