Definition of flat out in US English:

flat out

phrase

  • 1As fast or as hard as possible.

    ‘the whole team is working flat out to satisfy demand’
    ‘the album lacks the flat-out urgency of its predecessor’
    • ‘They love their team and they go flat out for them.’
    • ‘The team is pushing flat out to stay on top against tough opposition.’
    • ‘Maintenance and teaching staff worked flat out to make sure the school reopened as quickly as possible.’
    • ‘To help with this, forensic teams have been working flat out to gather DNA and fingerprint evidence.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But, is it too much to expect both teams to go flat out to win?’
    • ‘We'll have a ten-strong team working flat out for four weeks from July.’
    • ‘The three main parties have been working flat out to get themselves into the best possible starting point for the weeks ahead.’
    • ‘Surgical teams worked flat out performing intricate grafts on the victims in the four operating theatres commandeered for the emergency.’
    • ‘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; unequivocally.

    ‘flat-out perjury’
    ‘in those early days I'd just flat out vote against foreign aid’
    • ‘You flat out lied to the entire world.’
    • ‘There were whole stretches where he just flat out refused to guard him.’
    • ‘You just flat out didn't like our vote.’
    • ‘He has been totally objective and even flat out rejected some of the sample devices.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was completely ignoring her, flat out, acting like an immature child.’
    • ‘Hannah stared at him, wondering if he really was just flat out crazy.’
    • ‘Alana told me flat out that she's voting for Jessica.’
    • ‘I attempted to figure out if any of her words had a hidden implication, but she spoke flat out.’
    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
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  • 3Lying completely stretched out, especially asleep or exhausted.

    ‘she was lying flat out on her pink bath towel’
    • ‘A friend drove him - lying flat out on the back seat of a Range Rover to avoid photographers - from the house in Didsbury.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Everywhere I look, lads are perched on the edge of the pavement; or stretched flat out on it; or slumped against walls, absently texting.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The ex-chief of command was lying flat out on the small bunk, eyes boring a hole into the ceiling.’
    • ‘A clash of heads left one player lying flat out on the pitch.’
    • ‘Creeping over to see if she was all right he found her lying flat out on her back.’
    • ‘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.’

Pronunciation

flat out

/ˌflat ˈout//ˌflæt ˈaʊt/