1. a person or thing that makes something flat.
  2. a flat-faced blacksmith’s tool, laid on a forging and struck with a hammer to smooth the surface of the forging.
  3. a drawplate with a flat orifice for drawing flat metal strips, as for watch springs.


  1. to praise insincerely, esp in order to win favour or reward
  2. to show to advantagethat dress flatters her
  3. (tr) to make to appear more attractive, etc, than in reality
  4. to play upon or gratify the vanity of (a person)it flatters her to be remembered
  5. (tr) to beguile with hope; encourage, esp falselythis success flattered him into believing himself a champion
  6. (tr) to congratulate or deceive (oneself)I flatter myself that I am the best


  1. a blacksmith’s tool, resembling a flat-faced hammer, that is placed on forged work and struck to smooth the surface of the forging
  2. a die with a narrow rectangular orifice for drawing flat sections

early 13c., from Old French flater “to flatter” (13c.), originally “stroke with the hand, caress,” from Frankish *flat “palm, flat of the hand” (see flat (adj.)). “[O]ne of many imitative verbs beginning with fl- and denoting unsteady or light, repeated movement” [Liberman]. Related: Flattered; flattering.

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