Definition of flattery in English:



mass noun
  • Excessive and insincere praise, given especially to further one's own interests.

    ‘she allowed no hint of flattery to enter her voice’
    • ‘So, notwithstanding the suggestion of the article, obviously not all such comments are merely insincere flattery.’
    • ‘You are not inclined toward flattery, so any compliment you give is earned.’
    • ‘I usually have all kinds of flattery and nice words, and I could this time, too.’
    • ‘A smarmy radio station Director considers himself positively brilliant by getting rid of a troublesome author through insincere flattery.’
    • ‘I wonder what trinket or snippet of insincere flattery might gladden their hearts.’
    • ‘She knew, truly enough however, that her godfather didn't believe in compliments and flattery unless they were earned.’
    • ‘He adds: ‘There's more to Italy than flattery, favours and back stabbing, you know.’’
    • ‘As I expected, no man could resist my puppy charms for long - especially when combined with ego-stroking flatteries.’
    • ‘There are some who fear that lavish praise equates flattery.’
    • ‘He needed Bill's insincere flattery, even though he was only partly swayed by it.’
    • ‘I have received more compliments and more flattery than is healthy for me.’
    • ‘Yes, flattery and a show of interest will get you everywhere.’
    • ‘His premise is a cheery one, that flattery lies between praise and porky pies, something that can certainly be abused by charlatans and rogues but which also acts as a social lubricant.’
    • ‘Compliments and flattery are nice, but I can offer you much, much more.’
    • ‘He was not the sort of prince who adored flattery and adulation, public appearances and such.’
    • ‘Newly appointed ministers have always been the targets of inflated flattery from vested interests eager to gain an early place in their affections.’
    • ‘They continued to walk along in the garden, Mack enchanting her with his flatteries and humorous stories about himself that he made up on the spot.’
    • ‘Why people comment me with such flatteries, I cannot think!’
    • ‘He begins with a little flattery, praising our very presence.’
    • ‘He had merely spoken kindly and sincerely to her, not using the meaningless flattery most courtiers employed in her presence.’
    praise, adulation, compliments, blandishments, admiration, honeyed words, pats on the back
    View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French flaterie, from flater ‘stroke, flatter’, probably of Germanic origin and related to flat.