Word forms: flats
1. countable noun A flat is a set of rooms for living in, usually on one floor and part of a larger building. A flat usually includes a kitchen and bathroom. [mainly British] ⇒ Sara lives with her husband and children in a flat in central London. ⇒ …a block of flats ⇒ Later on, Victor from flat 10 called.regional note: in AM, usually use apartment 2. graded adjective & adjective Something that is flat is level, smooth, or even, rather than sloping, curved, or uneven. ⇒ Tiles can be fixed to any surface as long as it's flat, firm and dry. ⇒ After a moment his right hand moved across the cloth, smoothing it flat. ⇒ ...windows which a thief can reach from a drainpipe or flat roof. ⇒ The sea was calm, perfectly flat. 3. adjective [ADJ n, v-link ADJ, ADJ after v] Flat means horizontal and not upright. ⇒ Two men near him threw themselves flat. ⇒ As heartburn is usually worse when you're lying down in bed, you should avoid lying flat. 4. graded adjective & adjective [usu ADJ n] A flat object is not very tall or deep in relation to its length and width. ⇒ Ellen is walking down the drive with a square flat box balanced on one hand. 5. graded adjective & adjective [ADJ n, v-link ADJ, ADJ after v] Flat land is level, with no high hills or other raised parts. ⇒ To the north lie the flat and fertile farmlands of the Solway plain. ⇒ The landscape became wider, flatter and very scenic. ⇒ The highway stretched out flat and straight ahead.
flatness uncountable noun ⇒ Notice the flatness and the rich, red earth.
6. countable noun [usu pl, usu n N] A low flat area of uncultivated land, especially an area where the ground is soft and wet, can be referred to as flats or a flat. ⇒ The salt marshes and mud flats attract large numbers of waterfowl. 7. countable noun [usu sing] You can refer to one of the broad flat surfaces of an object as the flat of that object. ⇒ He slammed the counter with the flat of his hand. ⇒ ...eight cloves of garlic crushed with the flat of a knife. 8. graded adjective & adjective [usu ADJ n]
Flat shoes have no heels or very low heels. OPPOSITE: high-heeled ⇒ People wear slacks, sweaters, flat shoes, and all manner of casual attire for travel.
Flats are flat shoes. [US] ⇒ His mother looked ten years younger in jeans and flats.
9. graded adjective & adjective A flat tyre, ball, or balloon does not have enough air in it. 10. countable noun
A flat is a tyre that does not have enough air in it. ⇒ Then, after I finally got back on the highway, I developed a flat.
11. graded adjective & adjective
A drink that is flat is no longer fizzy. ⇒ Could this really stop the champagne from going flat?
12. graded adjective & adjective A flat battery has lost some or all of its electrical charge. [mainly British] OPPOSITE: charged ⇒ His car alarm had been going off for two days and, as a result, the battery was flat.regional note: in AM, use dead 13. graded adjective & adjective If you have flat feet, the arches of your feet are too low. ⇒ The condition of flat feet runs in families. 14. adjective [ADJ n] A flat denial or refusal is definite and firm, and is unlikely to be changed. ⇒ The Foreign Ministry has issued a flat denial of any involvement. ⇒ She is likely to give you a flat refusal. flatly
adverb [usu ADV with v, oft ADV adj] ⇒ Michael flatly denied virtually every rumour. ⇒ He flatly refused to discuss it. ⇒ I could use some money, Sarah told him flatly. 15. adjective If you say that something happened, for example, in ten seconds flat or ten minutes flat, you are emphasizing that it happened surprisingly quickly and only took ten seconds or ten minutes. [emphasis] ⇒ You're sitting behind an engine that'll move you from 0 to 60mph in six seconds flat. ⇒ I had it all explained to me in two minutes flat. 16. adjective [ADJ n] A flat rate, price, or percentage is one that is fixed and which applies in every situation. ⇒ Fees are charged at a flat rate, rather than on a percentage basis. ⇒ Sometimes there's a flat fee for carrying out a particular task. ⇒ Medicare is preparing to cut all payments by a flat 2%. 17. graded adjective & adjective If trade or business is flat, it is slow and inactive, rather than busy and improving or increasing. ⇒ During the first eight months of this year, sales of big pickups were up 14% while car sales stayed flat. ⇒ For the country overall, house prices have remained flat. 18. graded adjective & adjective If you describe something as flat, you mean that it is dull and not exciting or interesting. ⇒ The past few days have seemed comparatively flat and empty. ⇒ It is a long time since a party leader delivered such a dreadfully flat speech as he did yesterday.
flatness uncountable noun ⇒ Kenworthy detected a certain flatness in the days that followed.
19. graded adjective & adjective You use flat to describe someone's voice when they are saying something without expressing any emotion. ⇒ 'Whatever you say,' he said in a deadly flat voice. 'I'll sit here and wait.' ⇒ Her voice was flat, with no question or hope in it. flatly
graded adverb & adverb [ADV after v] ⇒ I know you,' he said flatly, matter-of-fact, neutral in tone. 20. adjective [n ADJ] Flat is used after a letter representing a musical note to show that the note should be played or sung half a tone lower than the note which otherwise matches that letter. Flat is often represented by the symbol ♭ after the letter. ⇒ ...Schubert's B flat Piano Trio (Opus 99). 21. graded adverb & adverb [ADV after v]
If someone sings flat or if a musical instrument is flat, their singing or the instrument is slightly lower in pitch than it should be. ⇒ Her vocal range was, to say the least of it, limited, and she had a distressing tendency to sing flat.
Flat is also an adjective. ⇒ He had been fired because his singing was flat.
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © Harper Collins Publishers