adjective, flatter, flattest.
a flat roof.
level, even, or without unevenness of surface, as land or tabletops.
having a surface that is without marked projections or depressions:
a broad, flat face.
lying horizontally and at full length, as a person; prostrate:
He was flat on the canvas after the knockdown.
lying wholly on or against something:
The banner was flat against the wall.
thrown down, laid low, or level with the ground, as fallen trees or buildings.
having a generally level shape or appearance; not deep or thick:
a flat plate.
(of the heel of a shoe) low and broad.
spread out, as an unrolled map or the open hand.
a flat tire.
absolute, downright, or positive; without qualification:
a flat denial.
without modification or variation:
a flat rate.
Informal. lacking money; broke.
without vitality or animation; lifeless; dull:
having lost its flavor, sharpness, or life, as wine or food; stale.
(of a beverage) having lost its effervescence.
without flavor; not spiced:
prosaic, banal, or insipid:
a flat style.
pointless, as a remark or joke.
a flat day in the stock market.
(of a painting) not having the illusion of volume or depth.
(of a photograph or painting) lacking contrast or gradations of tone or color.
(of paint) without gloss; not shiny; mat.
not clear, sharp, or ringing, as sound or a voice.
lacking resonance and variation in pitch; monotonous:
a flat delivery of the speech.
Grammar. derived without change in form, as English to brush from the noun brush and adverbs that do not add -ly to the adjective form as fast, cheap, and slow.
Phonetics. lenis; voiced.
flat a, the a -sound (a) of glad, bat, or act.
a shoe, especially a woman’s shoe, with a flat heel or no heel.
a flat surface, side, or part of anything:
He struck me with the flat of his hand.
flat or level ground; a flat area:
a marsh, shoal, or shallow.
Theater. a piece of scenery consisting of a wooden frame, usually rectangular, covered with lightweight board or fabric.
a broad, thin book, chiefly for children:
a juvenile flat.
Informal. a deflated automobile tire.
(in postal use) a large flat package, as in a manila envelope, for mailing.
Architecture. a flat roof or deck.
an iron or steel bar of rectangular cross section.
Textiles. one of a series of laths covered with card clothing, used in conjunction with the cylinder in carding.
Photography. one or more negatives or positives in position to be reproduced.
Printing. a device for holding a negative or positive flat for reproduction by photoengraving.
Horticulture. a shallow, lidless box or tray used for rooting seeds and cuttings and for growing young plants.
a similar box used for shipping and selling fruits and vegetables.
Football. the area of the field immediately inside of or outside of an offensive end, close behind or at the line of scrimmage.
flats, Informal. flat races between horses.
verb (used with object), flatted, flatting.
to make flat.
Music. to lower (a pitch), especially one half step.
verb (used without object), flatted, flatting.
to become flat.
in a flat position; horizontally; levelly.
in a flat manner; positively; absolutely.
She ran around the track in two minutes flat.
Music. below the true pitch:
to sing flat.
Finance. without interest.
flat in, Nautical. to pull the clew of (a fore-and-aft sail) as nearly amidships as possible.
Also, flatten in.
fall flat, to fail to produce the desired effect; fail completely:
His attempts at humor fell flat.
flat aft, Nautical. trimmed so that fore-and-aft sails present as flat a surface as possible, as in sailing close to the wind.
flat on one’s back. 1 (def 47).
flat out, Informal.
Chiefly British. an apartment or suite of rooms on one floor forming a residence.
adjective flatter, flattest
horizontal; level: flat ground, a flat roof
even or smooth, without projections or depressions: a flat surface
lying stretched out at full length; prostrate: he lay flat on the ground
having little depth or thickness; shallow: a flat dish
(postpositive) often foll by against. having a surface or side in complete contact with another surface: flat against the wall
spread out, unrolled, or levelled
(of a tyre) deflated, either partially or completely
(of shoes) having an unraised or only slightly raised heel
without qualification; total: a flat denial
without possibility of change; fixed: a flat rate
(prenominal or immediately postpositive) neither more nor less; exact: he did the journey in thirty minutes flat, a flat thirty minutes
unexciting or lacking point or interest: a flat joke
without variation or resonance; monotonous: a flat voice
(of food) stale or tasteless
(of beer, sparkling wines, etc) having lost effervescence, as by exposure to air
(of trade, business, a market, etc) commercially inactive; sluggish
(of a battery) fully discharged; dead
(of a print, photograph, or painting) lacking contrast or shading between tones
(of paint) without gloss or lustre; matt
(of a painting) lacking perspective
(of lighting) diffuse
(phonetics) another word for lenis
(phonetics) flat a, the vowel sound of a as in the usual US or S Brit pronunciation of hand, cat, usually represented by the symbol (æ)
in or into a prostrate, level, or flat state or position: he held his hand out flat
completely or utterly; absolutely: he went flat against the rules
exactly; precisely: in three minutes flat
fall flat, to fail to achieve a desired effect, etc
(informal) flat out
a flat object, surface, or part
(often pl) a low-lying tract of land, esp a marsh or swamp
(often pl) a mud bank exposed at low tide
(theatre) a rectangular wooden frame covered with painted canvas, etc, used to form part of a stage setting
a punctured car tyre
(mainly Brit) ((often cap.)) the flat
(nautical) a flatboat or lighter
(US & Canadian) a shallow box or container, used for holding plants, growing seedlings, etc
verb flats, flatting, flatted
to make or become flat
(music) the usual US word for flatten (sense 3)
a set of rooms comprising a residence entirely on one floor of a building Usual US and Canadian name apartment
(Brit & NZ) a portion of a house used as separate living quarters
(NZ) a house shared with people who are not members of one’s own family
verb (intransitive) flats, flatting, flatted
(Austral & NZ) to live in a flat (with someone)
early 14c., from Old Norse flatr, from Proto-Germanic *flataz (cf. Old Saxon flat “flat, shallow,: Old High German flaz “flat, level,” Old English flet, Old High German flezzi “floor”), perhaps from PIE *plat- “to spread” (cf. Greek platys “broad, flat;” see plaice (n.)).
Sense of “prosaic, dull” is from 1570s; used of drink from c.1600; of musical notes from 1590s, because the tone is “lowered.” Flat-out (adv.) “openly, directly” is from 1932; earlier it was a noun meaning “total failure” (1870, U.S. colloquial).
1801, from Scottish flat “floor or story of a house,” from Old English flet “a dwelling, floor, ground,” from the same source as flat (adj.).
1. Lacking any complex internal structure. “That bitty box has only a flat file system, not a hierarchical one.” The verb form is flatten. Usually used pejoratively (at least with respect to file systems).
2. Said of a memory architecture like that of the VAX or Motorola 680×0 that is one big linear address space (typically with each possible value of a processor register corresponding to a unique address). This is a Good Thing. The opposite is a “segmented” architecture like that of the Intel 80×86 in which addresses are composed from a base-register/offset pair. Segmented designs are generally considered cretinous.
3. A flat domain is one where all elements except bottom are incomparable (equally well defined). E.g. the integers.
- Flat address space
architecture The memory architecture in which any memory location can be selected from a single contiguous block by a single integer offset. Almost all popular processors have a flat address space, but the Intel x86 family has a segmented address space. A flat address space greatly simplifies programming because of the simple correspondence between addresses […]
noun, Architecture. 1. an arch having a more or less flat intrados and extrados with voussoirs radiating from a center below the arch.
- Flat as a pancake
adjective phrase Very flat: The car was squashed flat as a pancake [1761+; the form flat down as pancakes is found by 1611] Extremely level, especially too much so. For example, There are no hills; this terrain is flat as a pancake. This simile dates from the 1500s and has survived its contemporary, flat as […]
adverb Totally; absolutely: Some farmers are absolutely flat-ass broke/ It’s not just that. I’ll flat-ass leave her (1960s+)