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Webster 1913 Edition


Flatter

Flat′ter

(flăt′tẽr)
,
Noun.
1.
One who, or that which, makes flat or flattens.
2.
(Metal Working)
(a)
A flat-faced fulling hammer.
(b)
A drawplate with a narrow, rectangular orifice, for drawing flat strips, as watch springs, etc.

Flat′ter

(flăt′tẽr)
,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Flattered
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Flattering
.]
[OE.
flateren
, cf. OD.
flatteren
; akin to G.
flattern
to flutter, Icel.
flaðra
to fawn, flatter: cf. F.
flatter
. Cf.
Flitter
,
Flutter
,
Flattery
.]
1.
To treat with praise or blandishments; to gratify or attempt to gratify the self-love or vanity of, esp. by artful and interested commendation or attentions; to blandish; to cajole; to wheedle.
When I tell him he hates flatterers,
He says he does, being then most
flattered
.
Shakespeare
A man that
flattereth
his neighbor, spreadeth a net for his feet.
Prov. xxix. 5.
Others he
flattered
by asking their advice.
Prescott.
2.
To raise hopes in; to encourage or favorable, but sometimes unfounded or deceitful, representations.
3.
To portray too favorably; to give a too favorable idea of;
as, his portrait
flatters
him
.

Flat′ter

,
Verb.
I.
To use flattery or insincere praise.
If it may stand him more in stead to lie,
Say and unsay, feign,
flatter
, or adjure.
Milton.

Webster 1828 Edition


Flatter

FLAT'TER

,
Noun.
The person or thing by which any thing is flattened.

FLAT'TER

,
Verb.
T.
[Flatter may be from the root of flat, that is, to make smooth, to appease, to soothe. L. plaudo. Perhaps flat and plaudo are from one root, the radical sense of which must be to extend, strain, stretch.]
1.
To soothe by praise; to gratify self-love by praise or obsequiousness; to please a person by applause or favorable notice, by respectful attention, or by any thing that exalts him in his own estimation, or confirms his good opinion of himself. We flatter a woman when we praise her children.
A man that flattereth his neighbor, spreadeth a net for his feet. Prov. 29.
2.
To please; to gratify; as, to flatter one's vanity or pride.
3.
To praise falsely; to encourage by favorable notice; as, to flatter vices or crimes.
4.
To encourage by favorable representations or indications; as, to flatter hopes. We are flattered with the prospect of peace.
5.
To raise false hopes by representations not well founded; as, to flatter one with a prospect of success; to flatter a patient with the expectation of recovery when his case is desperate.
6.
To please; to soothe.
A concert of voices - makes a harmony that flatters the ears.
7.
To wheedle; to coax; to attempt to win by blandishments, praise or enticements. How many young and credulous persons are flattered out of their innocence and their property, by seducing arts!

Definition 2021


flatter

flatter

English

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.
  5. (Britain, New Zealand, slang) Someone who lives in a rented flat.
Translations

Adjective

flatter

  1. comparative form of flat: more flat

Etymology 2

Verb

flatter (third-person singular simple present flatters, present participle flattering, simple past and past participle flattered) (transitive, intransitive)

  1. To compliment someone, often insincerely and sometimes to win favour.
    • Bible, Proverbs xxix. 5
      A man that flattereth his neighbour, spreadeth a net for his feet.
    • Prescott
      Others he flattered by asking their advice.
  2. To enhance someone's vanity by praising them.
  3. To portray something to advantage.
    Her portrait flatters her.
  4. To convey notions of the facts that are believed to be favorable to the hearer without certainty of the truthfulness of the notions conveyed.
Related terms
Translations

French

Etymology

From Middle French flatter (to flatter, to caress with the flat of the hand), from Old French flater (to deceive by concealing the truth, to stroke with the palm of the hand), from Frankish *flat (palm, flat of the hand), from Proto-Germanic *flatą, *flatō (palm, sole), *flataz (flat), from Proto-Indo-European *plÁt-, *pele-, *plet-, *plāk- (flat, broad, plain). Cognate with Old High German flazza (palm, flat of the hand), Old High German flaz (level, flat), Old Saxon flat (flat), Old Norse flatr (flat) (whence English flat), Old Frisian flet, flette (dwelling, house), Old English flet, flett (ground floor, dwelling). More at flat, flétrir.

Pronunciation

Verb

flatter

  1. to flatter

Conjugation

Derived terms


German

Verb

flatter

  1. First-person singular present of flattern.
  2. Imperative singular of flattern.

Middle French

Verb

flatter

  1. to flatter

Conjugation

  • Middle French conjugation varies from one text to another. Hence, the following conjugation should be considered as typical, not as exhaustive.