Definition of flat out in English:

flat out


  • 1As fast or as hard as possible:

    ‘the whole team is working flat out to satisfy demand’
    • ‘We'll have a ten-strong team working flat out for four weeks from July.’
    • ‘The team is pushing flat out to stay on top against tough opposition.’
    • ‘The three main parties have been working flat out to get themselves into the best possible starting point for the weeks ahead.’
    • ‘A combination of moveable and unobtrusive scaffolding was used and the team of four worked flat out to complete the job in only eight days.’
    • ‘Surgical teams worked flat out performing intricate grafts on the victims in the four operating theatres commandeered for the emergency.’
    • ‘They love their team and they go flat out for them.’
    • ‘To help with this, forensic teams have been working flat out to gather DNA and fingerprint evidence.’
    • ‘Maintenance and teaching staff worked flat out to make sure the school reopened as quickly as possible.’
    • ‘But, is it too much to expect both teams to go flat out to win?’
    • ‘The National Trust's property and forestry teams are now working flat out and have been all over the weekend to try and clear the debris and make safe the damage, as far as is possible, as more gales and rain are forecast.’
  • 2North American informal Without hesitation or reservation:

    ‘she flat out said she didn't trust her fellow board members’
    ‘flat-out perjury’
    • ‘I attempted to figure out if any of her words had a hidden implication, but she spoke flat out.’
    • ‘He says flat out that he's not going to vote for the president's bill.’
    • ‘On the other hand, I flat out disagree with this.’
    • ‘You just flat out didn't like our vote.’
    • ‘There were whole stretches where he just flat out refused to guard him.’
    • ‘He has been totally objective and even flat out rejected some of the sample devices.’
    • ‘He was completely ignoring her, flat out, acting like an immature child.’
    • ‘You flat out lied to the entire world.’
    • ‘Alana told me flat out that she's voting for Jessica.’
    • ‘Hannah stared at him, wondering if he really was just flat out crazy.’
    hard, as hard as possible, for all one's worth, vigorously, with a vengeance, to the utmost, to the full, to the limit, all out
    at full speed, as fast as possible, post-haste, at full tilt, at breakneck speed, full steam ahead
    hell for leather, hammer and tongs, like crazy, like mad, like a bat out of hell, at a lick, like the wind, like a bomb, like greased lightning
    like billy-o, like the clappers, at a rate of knots
    View synonyms
  • 3Lying stretched out, especially asleep or in a state of exhaustion:

    ‘he lay flat out, breathing heavily’
    • ‘Once it's safely locked up and all the lights are out you can lie flat out across the seats and sleep until the next morning, when it takes you back in to work.’
    • ‘A clash of heads left one player lying flat out on the pitch.’
    • ‘Lying flat out on the sidewalk with a sizeable bruise on my forehead and Miles by my side, I instantly thought what immediately blurted from his mouth.’
    • ‘Not only did he photograph battleships and the fleet at sea, but he also turned his camera at everyday life on board, recording members of the crew at work, the ship's dog, and even an exhausted sailor flat out asleep on deck.’
    • ‘A friend drove him - lying flat out on the back seat of a Range Rover to avoid photographers - from the house in Didsbury.’
    • ‘Creeping over to see if she was all right he found her lying flat out on her back.’
    • ‘Everywhere I look, lads are perched on the edge of the pavement; or stretched flat out on it; or slumped against walls, absently texting.’
    • ‘Spread out on a fluffy blue mat and surrounded by squeaky toys is an extremely cute one-year-old, flat out asleep.’
    • ‘I rushed outside and she was laid flat out with blood pouring from her right ear.’
    • ‘The ex-chief of command was lying flat out on the small bunk, eyes boring a hole into the ceiling.’


flat out

/ˌflat ˈaʊt/