flat Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “flat” in the English Dictionary

"flat" in British English

See all translations

flatadjective

uk   us   /flæt/ (flatter, flattest)

flat adjective (LEVEL)

B1 level and ​smooth, with no ​curved, high, or ​hollowparts: An ​icerinkneeds to be ​completely flat. Roll out the ​pastry on a flat ​surface. Much of the ​countryside in that ​region is very flat.
More examples

flat adjective (NOT HIGH)

B1 level but having little or no ​height: flat ​shoes (= ​ones without a ​raisedheel) Flat ​bread is made without yeast, and ​therefore does not ​rise: Pitta and ​nan are two ​types of flat ​bread.flat cap/hat UK a ​hat that is not ​rounded on ​top and has little ​height

flat adjective (NOT ACTIVE)

not ​interesting, or without ​emotion or ​excitement: After the ​excitement of the ​party, ​lifeseemssomewhat flat now. I ​thought her ​performance a little flat. I ​think the ​colours in this ​painting are ​kind of flat (= not ​varied or ​bright).

flat adjective (BATTERY)

UK (US dead) with no ​electricalpowerleft in it: I ​left my ​carlights on and now the ​battery is flat.

flat adjective (DRINK)

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

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 ​official has ​issued a flat denial of the ​accusations against her.

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 (= the ​air went out of it) after ​driving over a ​nail.

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 ​perhour.
More examples

flat adjective (PROFITS)

If ​profits, ​sales, etc. are flat, they are not ​growing or ​increasing: Demand for ​ourmachineryabroad is ​increasing, while ​growth is flat at ​home.

flatnoun

uk   us   /flæt/

flat noun (HOME)

A1 [C] UK (US apartment) a set of ​rooms for ​living in that are ​part of a ​largerbuilding 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 Manchester.
See also
More examples

flat noun (LEVEL GROUND)

[C often plural] an ​area of ​low, ​levelground, often near ​water: The salt flats are used for ​motorracing. The mud flats ​attractlargenumbers of ​birds.the flat of your hand the palm and ​fingers when they are ​heldstraight and ​level: He ​hit me with the flat of his ​hand.be on the flat UK to be on a ​levelsurface, not on a ​slope or ​hill: Most of the ​path is on the flat.

flat noun (TYRE)

[C usually singular] mainly US informal a ​tyre that does not have any or enough ​air in it : We were late because we had to ​stop and ​fix a flat.

flat noun (SHOES)

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

flat noun (MUSIC)

[C] (a ​symbol for) a ​note that is a semitonelower than a ​statednote

flatadjective, adverb

uk   us   /flæt/ (flatter, flattest)

flat adjective, adverb (MUSIC)

(in ​music) ​lower than a ​particularnote or the ​correctnote: The ​topstring on ​yourviolin is flat. She ​sang flat ​throughout the ​song (= all the ​notes she ​sang were too ​low).

flatadverb

uk   us   /flæt/ (flatter, flattest)

flat adverb (LEVEL)

B2 in a ​levelposition, often against another ​surface: Lay the ​cloth flat ​across the ​table.
More examples

flat adverb (NOT HIGH)

into a flat ​shape without ​height: These ​patiochairs will ​fold flat for ​storage.

flat adverb (COMPLETELY)

UK informal (US flat out) completely or to the ​greatestdegreepossible: She told him flat that she would not go to the show. Could you ​lend me some ​money, I'm flat broke (= I have no ​money).
See also
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.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.
(Definition of flat from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"flat" in American English

See all translations

flatadjective

 us   /flæt/

flat adjective (LEVEL)

[-er/-est only] (-tt-) level and ​smooth; having little or no ​height and not ​raised or round: A ​deskprovides a flat ​surface to ​work on. Campers ​look for flat ​ground to put up ​theirtents. [-er/-est only] (-tt-) A ​drink that is flat has ​stoppedbubbling: If you don’t put the ​top back on the ​sodabottle, it will go flat. [-er/-est only] (-tt-) If a ​tire is flat, the ​air has gone out of it so that it does not give the ​support it should: One of my ​tires is flat and I’ll have to ​change it.

flat adjective (COMPLETE)

[not gradable] complete and ​certain: His ​request for ​time off from ​work was ​met with a flat ​refusal.

flat adjective (NOT CHANGING)

[not gradable] (esp. of an ​amount of ​money) not ​changing or ​varying: We ​charge a flat ​rate of $25 ​perhour. Sales are flat (= ​low and not ​changing) during this ​time of ​year.

flatadjective, adverb [-er/-est only]

 us   /flæt/ (-tt-)

flat adjective, adverb [-er/-est only] (MUSIC)

music lower in pitch than a ​particular or the ​correctnote

flatnoun [C]

 us   /flæt/

flat noun [C] (APARTMENT)

esp. Br an apartment : They have a ​house in the ​country and a flat in London.

flat noun [C] (SOMETHING LEVEL)

something flat, esp. a ​tire that has ​lostitsair, so that it does not give the ​support that it should: We ​pulled off to the ​side of the ​road to ​change a flat. The flat of the ​hand is the inside, ​levelpart of the ​hand with the ​fingersstraight: He ​swatted the ​table with the flat of his ​hand.

flat noun [C] (MUSIC)

music a ​mark in written ​musicshowing that a ​note should be ​played a half steplower

flatadverb

 us   /flæt/

flat adverb (LEVEL)

[-er/-est only] (-tt-) in a ​levelposition, often against another ​surface: He ​hurt his back and could only ​sleeplying flat on his back.

flat adverb (COMPLETELY)

[not gradable] completely, or to the ​greatestdegreepossible: When he ​asked for a ​raise, the ​bossturned him down flat. I’m flat ​broke (= I have no ​money).

flat adverb (EXACTLY)

[only after n, not gradable] exactly: We ​managed to get to the ​station in five ​minutes flat.
Idioms
(Definition of flat from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"flat" in Business English

See all translations

flatadjective

uk   us   /flæt/ (flatter, flattest)
COMMERCE, FINANCE 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.
STOCK MARKET if the ​stockmarket is flat, the ​prices of ​shares are not ​rising or ​falling: The ​market remained at 9,000 ​points after a flat day of ​trading yesterday.
fixed and without any ​additionalcosts: He ​submitted a flat ​price for completing the ​work, ​including all ​labour and ​materials.
HR used to describe the ​structure of an ​organization in which there are not many different ​levels of ​employees between the ​top and the ​bottom: Companies with a flat ​organizationalstructure can usually make decisions more quickly.
Compare

flatnoun [C]

uk   us   /flæt/
UK PROPERTY a set of ​rooms for ​living in which are ​part of a larger ​building and which are usually all on one ​floor: a furnished/unfurnished flat a block of flats He ​works as a ​propertydeveloper, ​buying, ​renovating and ​selling on flats in the ​capital.
Compare

flatadverb

uk   us   /flæt/
fall flat to be unsuccessful: The ​dealfell flat when the two ​sides could not ​agree on the ​terms of the ​contract.
flat out informal as hard or as fast as possible: Towards the end of the ​project the whole ​department was ​working flat out to ​meet the ​deadlines.
(Definition of flat from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of flat?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“flat” in Business English

Word of the Day

autumnal

typical of autumn

Word of the Day

Introducing a new author and a new weekly blog post!
Introducing a new author and a new weekly blog post!
by Cambridge Dictionaries Online,
August 27, 2015
The English language is constantly changing. You know that. But did you know that at Cambridge Dictionaries Online we keep track of the changes? We continually add new words and new meanings to our online dictionary for learners of English. Some of them are new to English entirely (neologisms), and some

Read More 

parklet noun
parklet noun
August 31, 2015
a public outdoor space that may be associated with a local business but where anyone can sit Pop-up cafes in NY are what’s actually called parklets in many other places around the country.

Read More