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American Speech




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If something is flat, it has little or no height on the surface:

The land is flat in this part of the country.
flat landscape
I like to eat flatbread with humus. (We also call this pita bread.)
flat bread
This is a flat-screen TV.
flat screen tv

A tractor roller flattens things like pavement, dirt, or rocks and sand.

The verb form of the word "flat" is "flatten":

flatten / flattened / flattened
tractor roller


A rolling pin flattens dough. ( It's useful when making a pie or cookies.)


rolling pin

The word "flat" is used to describe a number of different conditions:

  • If a person's hair hangs straight down and looks lifeless, we say it's flat.
  • If a carbonated beverage loses its fizz, it's flat.
  • In some cities in the United States (but not all), it's common to hear an apartment referred to as a flat.
  • A flat voice is one that lacks intonation.
  • A flat note is one that is lower in pitch. (Sometimes this is intentional; other times it isn't.)
  • If a group of people don't laugh at a joke, it falls flat.
  • A flat earther is a person who has very little respect for the facts of science.

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Published on December 5, 2012.







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