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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Flatter


FLAT'TER, noun The person or thing by which any thing is flattened.

FLAT'TER, verb transitive [Flatter may be from the root of flat, that is, to make smooth, to appease, to soothe. Latin plaudo. Perhaps flat and plaudo are from one root, the radical sense of which must be to extend, strain, stretch.]

1. To soothe by praise; to gratify self-love by praise or obsequiousness; to please a person by applause or favorable notice, by respectful attention, or by any thing that exalts him in his own estimation, or confirms his good opinion of himself. We flatter a woman when we praise her children.

A man that flattereth his neighbor, spreadeth a net for his feet. Proverbs 29:5.

2. To please; to gratify; as, to flatter one's vanity or pride.

3. To praise falsely; to encourage by favorable notice; as, to flatter vices or crimes.

4. To encourage by favorable representations or indications; as, to flatter hopes. We are flattered with the prospect of peace.

5. To raise false hopes by representations not well founded; as, to flatter one with a prospect of success; to flatter a patient with the expectation of recovery when his case is desperate.

6. To please; to soothe.

A concert of voices - makes a harmony that flatters the ears.

7. To wheedle; to coax; to attempt to win by blandishments, praise or enticements. How many young and credulous persons are flattered out of their innocence and their property, by seducing arts!