Definition of flat adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//flæt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//flæt//
    (flatter, no superlative)
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  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(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.
  4. in music
  5. 3 lower than the correct pitch (= how high or low a note sounds) He sings flat all the time. opposite sharp
  6. 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.
    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 (British English also stony broke)
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    (informal) completely broke (= without money)
    1. 1as fast or as hard as possible Workers are working flat out to meet the rise in demand for new cars.
    2. 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
    (informal) 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 wheel in three minutes flat (= in only three minutes).
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: flat