Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “flat”

flat

adjective uk   /flæt/ (flatter, flattest) us  

flat adjective (LEVEL)

B1 level and smooth, with no curved, high, or hollow parts: An ice rink needs to be completely flat. Roll out the pastry on a flat surface. Much of the countryside in East Anglia is very flat.Straight, even and level

flat adjective (NOT HIGH)

B1 level but having little or no height: flat shoes (= ones without a raised heel)Straight, even and level describes bread that is made without yeast, and therefore does not rise: Pitta and nan are two types of flat bread.Bread flat cap/hat UK a hat that is not rounded on top and has little heightThings worn to cover the head, face or neck

flat adjective (NOT ACTIVE)

not interesting, or without emotion or excitement: After the excitement of the party, life seems rather flat now. I thought her performance a little flat. I think the colours in this painting are rather flat (= not varied or bright).Tedious and uninspiring

flat adjective (BATTERY)

UK with no electrical power left in it: I left my car lights on and now the battery is flat (US dead).

flat adjective (DRINK)

C2 describes a drink that has stopped being fizzy (= with bubbles): If you don't put the top back on that bottle of beer, it will go flat. Drinks - general words

flat adjective (COMPLETE)

[before noun] complete or certain, and not likely to change: His request for time off work was met with a flat refusal. The minister has issued a flat denial of the accusations against her.CertaintyConfidence and self-assurance

flat adjective (WITHOUT AIR)

B2 If something such as a tyre or ball is flat, it does not contain enough air: I got a flat tyre (US tire) (= the air went out of it) after driving over a nail.Empty

flat adjective (FIXED)

[before noun] (especially of an amount of money) fixed and not likely to change: We charge a flat fee/rate of $25 per hour.Keeping and staying the sameNot able to be changed

flat adjective (PROFITS)

If profits, sales, etc. are flat, they are not growing or increasing: Demand for our machinery abroad is increasing, while growth is flat at home.Keeping and staying the sameNot able to be changed

flat

noun uk   /flæt/ us  

flat noun (HOME)

A1 [C] UK (US apartment) a set of rooms for living in that are part of a larger building and are usually all on one floor: a furnished/unfurnished flat a block of flats They have a house in the country and a flat in London.
See also
Houses and homes

flat noun (LEVEL GROUND)

[C often plural] an area of low, level ground, often near water: The salt flats are used for motor racing. The mud flats attract large numbers of birds.Coasts and beachesBays and gulfs the flat of your hand the palm and fingers when they are held straight and level: He hit me with the flat of his hand.The hand be on the flat to be on a level surface, not on a slope or hill: Most of the path is on the flat.Straight, even and level

flat noun (TYRE WITHOUT AIR)

[C usually singular] mainly US informal a flat tyre: We were late because we had to stop and fix a flat.The exterior of vehicles

flat noun (SHOES)

flats [plural] women's shoes without high heels: I feel more comfortable in flats.Shoes and shoemaking

flat noun (MUSIC)

[C] (a symbol for) a note that is a semitone lower than a stated noteNotes of the musical scale

flat

adjective, adverb uk   /flæt/ (flatter, flattest) us  

flat adjective, adverb (MUSIC)

(in music) lower than a particular note or the correct note: The top string on your violin is flat. She sang flat throughout the song (= all the notes she sang were too low). Notes of the musical scale

flat

adverb uk   /flæt/ (flatter, flattest) us  

flat adverb (LEVEL)

B2 in a level position, often against another surface: Lay the cloth flat across the table.Straight, even and level

flat adverb (NOT HIGH)

into a flat shape without height: These garden chairs will fold flat for storage.Straight, even and level

flat adverb (COMPLETELY)

informal completely or to the greatest degree possible: She told him flat (US also flat out that she would not go to the show. Could you lend me some money, I'm flat broke (= I have no money).
See also
Complete and wholeVery and extreme
three minutes, half an hour, etc. flat informal exactly three minutes, half an hour, etc.: We managed to get to the station in five minutes flat.Accurate and exact flat out informal as fast or as hard as possible: My car only does about 60 mph, even when it's going flat out. We've been working flat out to get this done.Hurrying and doing things quicklyBusy and active
(Definition of flat from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of flat?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Certainty, but you might be interested in these topics from the Chance and possibility topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “flat” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

pint

a measure for liquid equal to about half a litre

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More