In the National Puzzlers League, flats are wordplay puzzles (mostly) based on a relationship between two or more words or phrases, for instance, (sword, word) is a beheadment. A flat is accompanied by a verse into which the answer words fit, but those words are replaced by other words, called cue words, usually written in all caps. The cue words should indicate the relationship of the words, either by order or example. In addition, an enumeration of the length of one or all of the answer words is given; this may be accompanied by additional tagging if the words are capitalized or not in a common abridged dictionary (the Merriam-Webster dictionaries are the usual sources).

Example flat:


You can't use a BREAD
To cut off the head
Of a READ.

The cue words BREAD and READ represent the answer words "sword" and "word". The (5) indicates the length of the first answer word; the length of the second answer is not given because in a beheadment it is constrained to be 4 letters.

A carbonated drink, such as Coca-Cola or Mountain Dew, is said to be "flat" when most or all of the carbonation has escaped into the air. Since most soda drinks are composed primarily of corn syrup and artificial flavors, they are usually very nasty once the carbonation (and coldness) are no longer covering up the yucky ingredients.

Some people claim to like flat soda; these people are few, far between, and eccentric. The only soda drink that tastes good flat is seltzer water, for obvious reasons. Flat Coca-Cola makes a very good toilet cleaner -- pour it in, brush, and flush. Don't buy Coke just to pour it in the toilet (it's much more expensive than generic toilet cleaners) but if you have flat Coke lying around, this is a good way to get rid of it.

Something is flat when it is lacking in the characteristics that make it useful/interesting/unique. As noted above, this applies to soda without carbonation, women with small tits, and Kansas, but also to characters in literature or movies with little personality, tires without air, and small animals that have been run over.

As a side note, the only soda that tastes good after it is flat is Dr. Pepper, or any one of the Dr. Pepper imitations.

Flat has various apartment-related definitions; however, in the San Francisco Bay Area it usually means an apartment that is on or composed entirely of the ground floor of a house.

A musical term which can mean a good or a bad thing.

The good thing: When a note is flat, it is lowered a semitone or a half step from the note without the flat sign. A flat note is notated with a b-looking symbol preceding the note.

The bad thing: When a note is flat, its pitch is below the intended pitch. This is often caused by lack of singing or playing ability, fatigue, a badly tuned instrument, or lack of breath support.

In music notation, a flat is a symbol resembling a lower-case 'b' which indicates that a certain note should be lowered a half step. If used in the key signature, it means that note should be lowered a half-step whenever it is encountered; if used as an accidental, it means that only that note should be changed.

The half-step decrement applies whether it changes the note to a "white key" or not. For instance, A-flat is the same as G-sharp, but F-flat is the same as E.

A flat looks something like this, when used in the key signature and as an accidental with a half note:

----| /----------------------------------------------------
    |/    b                                                
----/--------------b O-------------------------------------
   /|               |                                      
 |  |  |   b        |                                      
  \ |  |                                                   

As with sharp, it is very difficult to depict the symbol in this medium.

The space in the head of the flat is what must show the location of the actual flatted note: it must fill the space, if the flatted note is on the space; the line must bisect the space if the flatted note is one the line.

In combinatorics, flat is, in R^d, a set formed either by translating an affine subspace or by intersecting a collection of hyperplanes.

--back to combinatorics--

A type of paintbrush that is used in any of the mediums. It is as it sounds, flat. Can be used for washes, but that is less suggested for watercolor than for acrylics or oils. Gesso is normally applied with a flat, a rather large one at that. Flats are generally also the lesser expensive of fine arts brushes.

flash crowd = F = flat-ASCII

flat adj.

1. [common] Lacking any complex internal structure. "That bitty box has only a flat filesystem, not a hierarchical one." The verb form is flatten. 2. Said of a memory architecture (like that of the VAX or 680x0) that is one big linear address space (typically with each possible value of a processor register corresponding to a unique core address), as opposed to a `segmented' architecture (like that of the 80x86) in which addresses are composed from a base-register/offset pair (segmented designs are generally considered cretinous).

Note that sense 1 (at least with respect to filesystems) is usually used pejoratively, while sense 2 is a Good Thing.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Flat (?), a. [Compar. Flatter (?); superl. Flattest (?).] [Akin to Icel. flatr, Sw. flat, Dan. flad, OHG. flaz, and AS. flet floor, G. flötz stratum, layer.]


Having an even and horizontal surface, or nearly so, without prominences or depressions; level without inclination; plane.

Though sun and moon
Were in the flat sea sunk.


Lying at full length, or spread out, upon the ground; level with the ground or earth; prostrate; as, to lie flat on the ground; hence, fallen; laid low; ruined; destroyed.

What ruins kingdoms, and lays cities flat!

I feel . . . my hopes all flat.

3. (Fine Arts)

Wanting relief; destitute of variety; without points of prominence and striking interest.

A large part of the work is, to me, very flat.


Tasteless; stale; vapid; insipid; dead; as, fruit or drink flat to the taste.


Unanimated; dull; uninteresting; without point or spirit; monotonous; as, a flat speech or composition.

How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world.


Lacking liveliness of commercial exchange and dealings; depressed; dull; as, the market is flat.


Clear; unmistakable; peremptory; absolute; positive; downright.

Flat burglary as ever was committed.

A great tobacco taker too, -- that's flat.

8. (Mus.)


Below the true pitch; hence, as applied to intervals, minor, or lower by a half step; as, a flat seventh; A flat.


Not sharp or shrill; not acute; as, a flat sound.

9. (Phonetics)

Sonant; vocal; -- applied to any one of the sonant or vocal consonants, as distinguished from a nonsonant (or sharp) consonant.

Flat arch. (Arch.) See under Arch, n., 2. (b). --
Flat cap, cap paper, not folded. See under Paper. --
Flat chasing, in fine art metal working, a mode of ornamenting silverware, etc., producing figures by dots and lines made with a punching tool. Knight. --
Flat chisel, a sculptor's chisel for smoothing. --
Flat file, a file wider than its thickness, and of rectangular section. See File. --
Flat nail, a small, sharp- pointed, wrought nail, with a flat, thin head, larger than a tack. Knight. --
Flat paper, paper which has not been folded. --
Flat rail, a railroad rail consisting of a simple flat bar spiked to a longitudinal sleeper. --
Flat rods (Mining), horizontal or inclined connecting rods, for transmitting motion to pump rods at a distance. Raymond. --
Flat rope, a rope made by plaiting instead of twisting; gasket; sennit. Some flat hoisting ropes, as for mining shafts, are made by sewing together a number of ropes, making a wide, flat band. Knight. --
Flat space. (Geom.) See Euclidian space. --
Flat stitch, the process of wood engraving. [Obs.] --
Flat tint (Painting), a coat of water color of one uniform shade. --
To fall flat (Fig.), to produce no effect; to fail in the intended effect; as, his speech fell flat.

Of all who fell by saber or by shot,
Not one fell half so flat as Walter Scott.
Lord Erskine.


© Webster 1913

Flat (?), adv.


In a flat manner; directly; flatly.

Sin is flat opposite to the Almighty.

2. (Stock Exchange)

Without allowance for accrued interest. [Broker's Cant]


© Webster 1913

Flat, n.


A level surface, without elevation, relief, or prominences; an extended plain; specifically, in the United States, a level tract along the along the banks of a river; as, the Mohawk Flats.

Envy is as the sunbeams that beat hotter upon a bank, or steep rising ground, than upon a flat.


A level tract lying at little depth below the surface of water, or alternately covered and left bare by the tide; a shoal; a shallow; a strand.

Half my power, this night
Passing these flats, are taken by the tide.


Something broad and flat in form; as:


A flat-bottomed boat, without keel, and of small draught.


A straw hat, broad- brimmed and low-crowned.

(c) (Railroad Mach.)

A car without a roof, the body of which is a platform without sides; a platform car.


A platform on wheel, upon which emblematic designs, etc., are carried in processions.


The flat part, or side, of anything; as, the broad side of a blade, as distinguished from its edge.

5. (Arch.)

A floor, loft, or story in a building; especially, a floor of a house, which forms a complete residence in itself.

6. (Mining)

A horizontal vein or ore deposit auxiliary to a main vein; also, any horizontal portion of a vein not elsewhere horizontal. Raymond.


A dull fellow; a simpleton; a numskull. [Colloq.]

Or if you can not make a speech,
Because you are a flat.

8. (Mus.)

A character [b] before a note, indicating a tone which is a half step or semitone lower.

9. (Geom.)

A homaloid space or extension.


© Webster 1913

Flat (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Flatted (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Flatting (?).]


To make flat; to flatten; to level.


To render dull, insipid, or spiritless; to depress.

Passions are allayed, appetites are flatted.


To depress in tone, as a musical note; especially, to lower in pitch by half a tone.


© Webster 1913

Flat, v. i.


To become flat, or flattened; to sink or fall to an even surface. Sir W. Temple.

2. (Mus.)

To fall form the pitch.

To flat out, to fail from a promising beginning; to make a bad ending; to disappoint expectations. [Colloq.]


© Webster 1913

Flat, a.

1. (Golf)

Having a head at a very obtuse angle to the shaft; -- said of a club.

2. (Gram.)

Not having an inflectional ending or sign, as a noun used as an adjective, or an adjective as an adverb, without the addition of a formative suffix, or an infinitive without the sign to. Many flat adverbs, as in run fast, buy cheap, are from AS. adverbs in , the loss of this ending having made them like the adjectives. Some having forms in ly, such as exceeding, wonderful, true, are now archaic.

3. (Hort.)

Flattening at the ends; -- said of certain fruits.


© Webster 1913

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