- 1Lavish praise and compliments on (someone), often insincerely and with the aim of furthering one’s own interests: she was flattering him in order to avoid doing what he wantedMore example sentences
compliment, praise, commend, admire, express admiration for, pay tribute to, say nice things about; pay court to, pay blandishments to, fawn on, wax lyrical about, make much of; cajole, humour, flannel, blarney• informal sweet-talk, soft-soap, butter up, lay it on thick, lay it on with a trowel, play up to, suck up to, crawl to, creep to, be all over, fall all over• archaic blandish• rare laud, panegyrize
- He does not flatter me with compliments, which I know cannot be genuine.
- Yes, that possibility is something I wondered about when men flattered me with comments about being cute, sweet and sexy.
- An assistant professor of creative writing at Columbia University told Time magazine that he flatters his students in order to guarantee favorable evaluations.
- 1.1Cause (someone) to feel honoured and pleased: [with object and infinitive]: I was very flattered to be given the commission [with object and clause]: she felt flattered that he was confiding in herMore example sentences
- Patrick was flattered and pleased that his old friends had elected to let him continue to play with them.
- He said it pleased him, and he was flattered not offended.
- On the one hand I'm slightly flattered by the attention and pleased that the writing here is giving someone pleasure.
- 1.2 (flatter oneself) Choose to believe something favourable about oneself, typically when this belief is unfounded: ‘Don’t flatter yourself! I wasn’t doing it for your benefit!’More example sentences
- I'm not flattering myself with some deluded belief of self-importance, if things get out of hand (which probably/hopefully they will not) I'll be the one getting really upset.
- Their findings suggest that many were flattering themselves in their self-reported profiles.
- I went back thinking these were guys I had formed a great rapport with, and I realised that actually I was flattering myself.
- 1.3Give an unrealistically favourable impression of: the final scoreline flattered EnglandMore example sentences
- Scotland coach Matt Williams said he was pleased with his team's performance but said the final scoreline flattered the Australians.
- Parkville advanced in the Youths Shield, but were somewhat flattered by the final scoreline.
- York dominated for long periods so much that the final scoreline flattered Leeds.
- 1.4(Of a colour or a style of clothing) cause (someone) to appear to the best advantage: the fuchsia shade flattered her pale skinMore example sentences
- The empire line is back in vogue after several decades, but it has always been a great style to flatter any figure.
- Layered shaggy styles flatter the pear shape face.
- Allow your child to try on different clothing styles until she finds what flatters her or suits her personality.
- 1.5 • archaic Please (the ear or eye): the beauty of the stone flattered the clergyman’s eyesMore example sentences
- Deftly edited, with a quickness of the hand that flatters the eye, the series has provided a slick, hip and credible makeover for an ancient art.
flatter to deceive
- Appear promising but ultimately disappoint.More example sentences
- They flatter to deceive, luring innocents with sympathetic words and false promises.
- He flatters to deceive, though, and it's too late for him to change now.
- Although they currently occupy a respectable seventh place in the Celtic League it flatters to deceive.
Middle English: perhaps a back-formation from flattery.