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