Definition of flatly in English:



  • 1Showing little interest or emotion.

    ‘“You'd better go,” she said flatly’
    • ‘Damien answered flatly as he refilled his cup with the dark liquid from the coffee pot, ‘You obviously don't remember what happened, do you?’’
    • ‘‘Don't shoot,’ he said, flatly, then looked out at a knot of junipers and some rusted machine parts sticking out of the bunch grass.’
    • ‘Another analyst with a keen interest in the budget for over a decade said flatly the budget statement is nonsense.’
    • ‘‘I don't have to give you an explanation,’ she said flatly.’
    • ‘‘It's not my book, it's Carrie's,’ she said flatly, and turned away.’
    • ‘‘As you wish,’ he replied flatly and stepped out into a spot of dim light.’
    • ‘‘She's not interested,’ she replied flatly, picking up her cello and unlatching the case.’
    • ‘But a Downing Street spokeswoman said flatly: ‘We haven't made any announcement and we are not going to make any announcement.’’
    • ‘He said it flatly, without emotion, but a muscle ticked in one side of his jaw.’
    • ‘She said it flatly, a matter-of-fact statement, completely without emotion.’
    • ‘‘I never had any interest in lecturing,’ he says flatly.’
    • ‘But Ms. Newman was not laughing when she stated flatly that it was not in her interest to jump into a job like this only to get them through a bad time and to move on.’
    • ‘‘I have no memory of my mother,’ she said flatly, her voice devoid of emotion.’
    • ‘‘We don't have that,’ said the employee on Bleeker Street flatly, deciding it wasn't worth the time to even check his computer.’
    • ‘‘It's over,’ claims one Cabinet Minister flatly.’
    • ‘‘Pumps haven't worked since Nixon was in office,’ she said flatly.’
    • ‘But when I asked Joel how the weather would affect the alpine moorlands, he said, flatly, ‘It is not raining.’’
    • ‘‘I was really self-destructive,’ he says flatly.’
    • ‘The camera focuses again on the officials who continue reading at great length but flatly, bureaucratically, without interest.’
    • ‘Finally, I broke away from his level, dark blue gaze and said flatly, ‘What do you want?’’
  • 2In a firm and unequivocal manner; absolutely.

    ‘they flatly refused to play’
    [as submodifier] ‘his view seems to me flatly contrary to our evidence’
    • ‘When Gareth first asked if I wanted to give a pint, I flatly refused.’
    • ‘We have thrown lots of ideas at the highways authority and they have flatly refused them all.’
    • ‘These are half-truths and lies, which flatly contradict previous statements.’
    • ‘She flatly refused high office, for socio-political causes meant more to her.’
    • ‘The department would also act as underwriter for people who are flatly refused cover by private firms.’
    • ‘Many auto operators flatly refuse to go to certain places.’
    • ‘His evidence not only flatly contradicted the testimony of the other defendants, it implicated the top echelons of the football club in a conspiracy to mislead the court.’
    • ‘This is, however, flatly contradicted by historical review, current doctrine, and common practice.’
    • ‘I had just flatly refused to talk to anybody for a few days but Beverly came knocking at my door.’
    • ‘All of this evidence flatly contradicted the claims that there was a wave, trend, or epidemic of school violence.’
    • ‘My previous advisor flatly refused, and that's why I left his lab, and it's also why I have a gap in my CV.’
    • ‘The congressman says he flatly opposes ‘privatization’.’
    • ‘Nobody loves an unfeminine female who quarrels with her boss, who flatly contradicts the men around her, who insists upon the rightness of her own notions.’
    • ‘The law firm flatly dismisses this.’
    • ‘A further 7% flatly refused to take their healthy snack in the first place.’
    • ‘He flatly refused an offer of cut-price salmon for cash, saying: ‘Thanks but no thanks.’’
    • ‘When he approached local experts in the city, they flatly refused.’
    • ‘For the many real world victims, the realities of domestic violence flatly contradict such stereotypes.’
    • ‘Only a few have flatly refused to go to Egypt, she said.’
    • ‘On other subjects his actions flatly contradict his words.’
    bluntly, directly, straight, straightforwardly, frankly, candidly, forthrightly, openly, explicitly, unequivocally, unambiguously, unmistakably, plainly, clearly, flatly, positively, certainly, decisively, categorically, outright
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  • 3In a smooth and even way.

    ‘I applied the paint flatly’
    • ‘Throughout, Baer laid the paint down flatly and evenly, and she made no effort to hide the texture of the canvas.’
    • ‘In this full-length picture, her toddler grandson floats against a flatly painted, baby blue field.’
    • ‘Painter John Wesley is known for his flatly painted, cartoonish canvases of figures and animals.’
    • ‘Sometimes the white lines ricochet in circular motions; others emanate from floating geometric forms that are pierced by flatly painted openings.’
    • ‘Food, jewelry and other vignettes were rather flatly painted, like signs.’
    • ‘The 21 works shown here range in scale and medium from her signature cabinet-size egg temperas on panel to larger, flatly painted oils on canvas, which are the most recent.’
    • ‘When I first saw the show, I was most excited about the bravura Red Highrise, but on returning, I grew more intrigued with other, more flatly painted works.’
    • ‘Featuring many flatly painted coats of variously toned acrylic, Roberts' delicate grayish fields evoke shifts and gradations of dawn or evening light.’
    1. 3.1Photography Without marked contrast of light and dark.
      ‘the photographs were lit very flatly’