• (GA) IPA: /ˈflætɚ/, [ˈflæɾɚ]
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈflætə/
  1. comparative form of flat

flatter (flatters, present participle flattering; past and past participle flattered) (ambitransitive)

  1. To compliment someone, often insincerely and sometimes to win favour.
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Book of Proverbs 29:5,
      A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.
    • 1855, William H. Prescott, History of the Reign of Philip the Second, King of Spain, Boston: Phillips, Sampson & Co., Volume 1, Book 1, Chapter 7, p. 242,
      Some he complimented for their bravery; others he flattered by asking their advice.
  2. To enhance someone's vanity by praising them.
  3. To portray someone to advantage.
    Her portrait flatters her.
    • c. 1594, William Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act IV, Scene 4,
      Here is her picture: let me see; I think,
      If I had such a tire, this face of mine
      Were full as lovely as is this of hers:
      And yet the painter flatter’d her a little […]
  4. To encourage or cheer someone with (usually false) hope.
    • 1593, William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis (Shakespeare poem),
      The dire imagination she did follow
      This sound of hope doth labour to expel;
      For now reviving joy bids her rejoice,
      And flatters her it is Adonis’ voice.
    • 1743, Robert Drury (sailor), The Pleasant, and Surprizing Adventures of Mr. Robert Drury, during his Fifteen Years Captivity on the Island of Madagascar, London, p. 9,
      […] I went up, and sat there two Hours and an half before I cou’d discern any Thing like Land; and when I first saw it I told my Comrade, but not being certain I wou’d not call out; for the Case was of such Importance, that they were not to be trifled with, or flatter’d into vain Hopes.
Related terms Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun

flatter (plural flatters)

  1. A type of set tool used by blacksmiths.
  2. A flat-faced fulling hammer.
  3. A drawplate with a narrow, rectangular orifice, for drawing flat strips such as watch springs.
  4. Someone who flattens, purposely or accidently. Also flattener.
Translations Noun

flatter (plural flatters)

  1. (British, NZ, slang) Someone who lives in a rented flat.

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