WordNet 2.0
  • a suite of rooms usually on one floor of an apartment house
  • scenery consisting of a wooden frame covered with painted canvas
  • part of a stage setting
  • a deflated pneumatic tire
  • a shallow box in which seedlings are started
  • freight car without permanent sides or roof
  • a musical notation indicating one half step lower than the note named
  • a level tract of land
  • lacking variety in shading
  • "a flat unshaded painting"
  • not reflecting light
  • not glossy
  • "flat wall paint"
  • "a photograph with a matte finish"
  • (of a tire) completely or partially deflated
  • having no depth or thickness
  • lacking the expected range or depth
  • not designed to give an illusion or depth
  • "a film with two-dimensional characters"
  • "a flat two-dimensional painting"
  • having a horizontal surface in which no part is higher or lower than another
  • "a flat desk"
  • "acres of level farmland"
  • "a plane surface"
  • lacking contrast or shading between tones
  • without pleats
  • parallel to the ground
  • "a flat roof"
  • stretched out and lying at full length along the ground
  • "found himself lying flat on the floor"
  • not made with leavening
  • "most flat breads are made from unleavened dough"
  • lowered in pitch by one chromatic semitone
  • "B flat"
  • not increasing as the amount taxed increases
  • not modified or restricted by reservations
  • "a categorical denial"
  • "a flat refusal"
  • having lost effervescence
  • "flat beer"
  • "a flat cola"
  • lacking stimulating characteristics
  • uninteresting
  • "a bland little drama"
  • "a flat joke"
  • lacking taste or flavor or tang
  • "a bland diet"
  • "insipid hospital food"
  • "flavorless supermarket tomatoes"
  • "vapid beer"
  • "vapid tea"
  • flattened laterally along the whole length (e.g., certain leafstalks or flatfishes)
  • wholly or completely
  • "He is flat broke"
  • in a forthright manner
  • candidly or frankly
  • "he didn''t answer directly"
  • "told me straight out"
  • "came out flat for less work and more pay"
  • at full length
  • "he fell flat on his face"
  • against a flat surface
  • "he lay flat on his back"
  • below the proper pitch
  • "she sang flat last night"
  • with flat sails
  • "sail flat against the wind"
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
  • 1. 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." -- Milton.

    2. 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!" -- Milton.

    "I feel . . . my hopes all flat." -- Milton.

    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." -- Coleridge.

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

    5. 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." -- Shak.

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

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

    "Flat burglary as ever was committed." -- Shak.

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

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

  • 1. In a flat manner; directly; flatly.

    "Sin is flat opposite to the Almighty." -- Herbert.

    2. (Stock Exchange) Without allowance for accrued interest. [Broker's Cant]

  • 1. 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." -- Bacon.

    2. 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." -- Shak.

    3. Something broad and flat in form; as: (a) A flat-bottomed boat, without keel, and of small draught. (b) 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. (d) A platform on wheel, upon which emblematic designs, etc., are carried in processions.

    4. 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.

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

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

    8. (Mus.) A character [♭] before a note, indicating a tone which is a half step or semitone lower.

    9. (Geom.) A homaloid space or extension.

  • 1. To make flat; to flatten; to level.

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

    "Passions are allayed, appetites are flatted." -- Barrow.

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

  • 1. 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.]

  • 1. 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 -ë, 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.


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