Definition of flatten in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈflatn/


1Make or become flat or flatter: [with object]: spoon the mixture into the pan, flatten into cakes, and fry until brown [no object]: the ground flattened out and became marshy (as adjective flattened) they were dancing on the flattened grass
More example sentences
  • Secondly, the mixture is then flattened out in the blending machine, and then it is flattened further in an extruder machine.
  • The heavy boots he wore had long ago flattened and grass he walked on, making a perfectly straight path where he had paced for the past few hours.
  • She quickly brushed, combed, and flattened her hair.
make flat, make even, smooth (out/off), level (out/off)
compress, press down, crush, squash, compact, trample
informal smoosh
1.1 [with object] Press (oneself or one’s body) against a surface, typically to get away from something or to let someone pass: they flattened themselves on the pavement as a bomb came whistling down
More example sentences
  • A group of children noisily pushed through the crowd, so Jag flattened himself against the wall to keep from getting squashed.
  • He has flattened himself violently against the wall, his knees bent in towards it, body shaking.
  • She flattened herself against the treetrunk and waited.
1.2 [with object] Music Lower (a note) in pitch by a half step.
2 [with object] Raze (a building or settlement) to the ground: the hurricane flattened thousands of homes
More example sentences
  • The army has used its newly acquired firepower to flatten houses and other buildings, destroy coconut plantations and turn the city into a virtual ghost town.
  • But the torrent of brown water, which was already flattening buildings, wiped out the jeep, drowning her grandchildren.
  • Just 12 minutes after the order, the bombs were dropped from an altitude of 20,000 ft, flattening the building.
demolish, raze (to the ground), tear down, knock down, destroy, wreck, devastate, obliterate
informal total
2.1 informal Knock someone down with power and vigor: once I’m in the ring, I know I can flatten him
More example sentences
  • The purpose of modernisation is to flatten the pyramid, to push power downwards and re-enfranchise the rank-and-file.
knock down/over, knock to the ground, fell, prostrate
informal floor, deck
2.2 informal Defeat (someone) completely, especially in a sports contest.

Phrasal verbs

flatten out

1(Of an increasing quantity or rate) show a less marked rise; slow down.
Example sentences
  • Despite an ongoing economic boom, Portland's housing cost increases flattened out after 1995, and now roughly match the rate of inflation.
  • On the other hand, the survey report will point out that the recent fall in unemployment is slowing, effectively flattening out over the past three months.
  • The long ‘plateau’ period where this rise in prosecutions flattened out is more difficult to explain.
2Make an aircraft fly horizontally after a dive or climb: he flattened out and made a fine three-point landing
More example sentences
  • People out fishing reported seeing the aircraft flying straight and level, then entering a spiral dive before flattening out momentarily.
  • The Ju 88 went into a steep, jinking dive with the rear gunner firing at the other members of his Section who all attacked, until the Ju 88 flattened out and crash-landed at high speed.




Words that rhyme with flatten

baton, batten, fatten, harmattan, Manhattan, Mountbatten, paten, patten, pattern, platen, Saturn, slattern

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: flat·ten

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