dict.org

The DICT Development Group


Search for:
Search type:
Database:

Database copyright information
Server information
Wiki: Resources, links, and other information


2 definitions found
 for To fall flat
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Flat \Flat\ (fl[a^]t), a. [Compar. Flatter (fl[a^]t"r[~e]r);
     superl. Flattest (fl[a^]t"t[e^]st).] [Akin to Icel. flatr,
     Sw. flat, Dan. flad, OHG. flaz, and AS. flet floor, G.
     fl["o]tz stratum, layer.]
     1. Having an even and horizontal surface, or nearly so,
        without prominences or depressions; level without
        inclination; plane.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Though sun and moon
              Were in the flat sea sunk.            --Milton.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. Lying at full length, or spread out, upon the ground;
        level with the ground or earth; prostrate; as, to lie flat
        on the ground; hence, fallen; laid low; ruined; destroyed.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              What ruins kingdoms, and lays cities flat! --Milton.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              I feel . . . my hopes all flat.       --Milton.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. (Fine Arts) Wanting relief; destitute of variety; without
        points of prominence and striking interest.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              A large part of the work is, to me, very flat.
                                                    --Coleridge.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. Tasteless; stale; vapid; insipid; dead; as, fruit or drink
        flat to the taste.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     5. Unanimated; dull; uninteresting; without point or spirit;
        monotonous; as, a flat speech or composition.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
              Seem to me all the uses of this world. --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     6. Lacking liveliness of commercial exchange and dealings;
        depressed; dull; as, the market is flat.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     7. Clear; unmistakable; peremptory; absolute; positive;
        downright.
  
     Syn: flat-out.
          [1913 Webster]
  
                Flat burglary as ever was committed. --Shak.
          [1913 Webster]
  
                A great tobacco taker too, -- that's flat.
                                                    --Marston.
          [1913 Webster]
  
     8. (Mus.)
        (a) Below the true pitch; hence, as applied to intervals,
            minor, or lower by a half step; as, a flat seventh; A
            flat.
        (b) Not sharp or shrill; not acute; as, a flat sound.
            [1913 Webster]
  
     9. (Phonetics) Sonant; vocal; -- applied to any one of the
        sonant or vocal consonants, as distinguished from a
        nonsonant (or sharp) consonant.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     10. (Golf) Having a head at a very obtuse angle to the shaft;
         -- said of a club.
         [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
  
     11. (Gram.) Not having an inflectional ending or sign, as a
         noun used as an adjective, or an adjective as an adverb,
         without the addition of a formative suffix, or an
         infinitive without the sign to. Many flat adverbs, as in
         run fast, buy cheap, are from AS. adverbs in -["e], the
         loss of this ending having made them like the adjectives.
         Some having forms in ly, such as exceeding, wonderful,
         true, are now archaic.
         [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
  
     12. (Hort.) Flattening at the ends; -- said of certain
         fruits.
         [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
  
     Flat arch. (Arch.) See under Arch, n., 2. (b).
  
     Flat cap, cap paper, not folded. See under Paper.
  
     Flat chasing, in fine art metal working, a mode of
        ornamenting silverware, etc., producing figures by dots
        and lines made with a punching tool. --Knight.
  
     Flat chisel, a sculptor's chisel for smoothing.
  
     Flat file, a file wider than its thickness, and of
        rectangular section. See File.
  
     Flat nail, a small, sharp-pointed, wrought nail, with a
        flat, thin head, larger than a tack. --Knight.
  
     Flat paper, paper which has not been folded.
  
     Flat rail, a railroad rail consisting of a simple flat bar
        spiked to a longitudinal sleeper.
  
     Flat rods (Mining), horizontal or inclined connecting rods,
        for transmitting motion to pump rods at a distance.
        --Raymond.
  
     Flat rope, a rope made by plaiting instead of twisting;
        gasket; sennit.
  
     Note: Some flat hoisting ropes, as for mining shafts, are
           made by sewing together a number of ropes, making a
           wide, flat band. --Knight.
  
     Flat space. (Geom.) See Euclidian space.
  
     Flat stitch, the process of wood engraving. [Obs.] -- Flat
     tint (Painting), a coat of water color of one uniform shade.
        
  
     To fall flat (Fig.), to produce no effect; to fail in the
        intended effect; as, his speech fell flat.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Of all who fell by saber or by shot,
              Not one fell half so flat as Walter Scott. --Lord
                                                    Erskine.
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Fall \Fall\ (f[add]l), v. i. [imp. Fell (f[e^]l); p. p.
     Fallen (f[add]l"'n); p. pr. & vb. n. Falling.] [AS.
     feallan; akin to D. vallen, OS. & OHG. fallan, G. fallen,
     Icel. Falla, Sw. falla, Dan. falde, Lith. pulti, L. fallere
     to deceive, Gr. sfa`llein to cause to fall, Skr. sphal,
     sphul, to tremble. Cf. Fail, Fell, v. t., to cause to
     fall.]
     1. To Descend, either suddenly or gradually; particularly, to
        descend by the force of gravity; to drop; to sink; as, the
        apple falls; the tide falls; the mercury falls in the
        barometer.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. --Luke
                                                    x. 18.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. To cease to be erect; to take suddenly a recumbent
        posture; to become prostrate; to drop; as, a child totters
        and falls; a tree falls; a worshiper falls on his knees.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              I fell at his feet to worship him.    --Rev. xix.
                                                    10.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. To find a final outlet; to discharge its waters; to empty;
        -- with into; as, the river Rhone falls into the
        Mediterranean.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. To become prostrate and dead; to die; especially, to die
        by violence, as in battle.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              A thousand shall fall at thy side.    --Ps. xci. 7.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              He rushed into the field, and, foremost fighting,
              fell.                                 --Byron.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     5. To cease to be active or strong; to die away; to lose
        strength; to subside; to become less intense; as, the wind
        falls.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     6. To issue forth into life; to be brought forth; -- said of
        the young of certain animals. --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     7. To decline in power, glory, wealth, or importance; to
        become insignificant; to lose rank or position; to decline
        in weight, value, price etc.; to become less; as, the
        price falls; stocks fell two points.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              I am a poor fallen man, unworthy now
              To be thy lord and master.            --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              The greatness of these Irish lords suddenly fell and
              vanished.                             --Sir J.
                                                    Davies.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     8. To be overthrown or captured; to be destroyed.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Heaven and earth will witness,
              If Rome must fall, that we are innocent. --Addison.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     9. To descend in character or reputation; to become degraded;
        to sink into vice, error, or sin; to depart from the
        faith; to apostatize; to sin.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest
              any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
                                                    --Heb. iv. 11.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     10. To become insnared or embarrassed; to be entrapped; to be
         worse off than before; as, to fall into error; to fall
         into difficulties.
         [1913 Webster]
  
     11. To assume a look of shame or disappointment; to become or
         appear dejected; -- said of the countenance.
         [1913 Webster]
  
               Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
                                                    --Gen. iv. 5.
         [1913 Webster]
  
               I have observed of late thy looks are fallen.
                                                    --Addison.
         [1913 Webster]
  
     12. To sink; to languish; to become feeble or faint; as, our
         spirits rise and fall with our fortunes.
         [1913 Webster]
  
     13. To pass somewhat suddenly, and passively, into a new
         state of body or mind; to become; as, to fall asleep; to
         fall into a passion; to fall in love; to fall into
         temptation.
         [1913 Webster]
  
     14. To happen; to to come to pass; to light; to befall; to
         issue; to terminate.
         [1913 Webster]
  
               The Romans fell on this model by chance. --Swift.
         [1913 Webster]
  
               Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the
               matter will fall.                    --Ruth. iii.
                                                    18.
         [1913 Webster]
  
               They do not make laws, they fall into customs. --H.
                                                    Spencer.
         [1913 Webster]
  
     15. To come; to occur; to arrive.
         [1913 Webster]
  
               The vernal equinox, which at the Nicene Council
               fell on the 21st of March, falls now [1694] about
               ten days sooner.                     --Holder.
         [1913 Webster]
  
     16. To begin with haste, ardor, or vehemence; to rush or
         hurry; as, they fell to blows.
         [1913 Webster]
  
               They now no longer doubted, but fell to work heart
               and soul.                            --Jowett
                                                    (Thucyd. ).
         [1913 Webster]
  
     17. To pass or be transferred by chance, lot, distribution,
         inheritance, or otherwise; as, the estate fell to his
         brother; the kingdom fell into the hands of his rivals.
         [1913 Webster]
  
     18. To belong or appertain.
         [1913 Webster]
  
               If to her share some female errors fall,
               Look on her face, and you'll forget them all.
                                                    --Pope.
         [1913 Webster]
  
     19. To be dropped or uttered carelessly; as, an unguarded
         expression fell from his lips; not a murmur fell from
         him.
         [1913 Webster]
  
     To fall abroad of (Naut.), to strike against; -- applied to
        one vessel coming into collision with another.
  
     To fall among, to come among accidentally or unexpectedly.
        
  
     To fall astern (Naut.), to move or be driven backward; to
        be left behind; as, a ship falls astern by the force of a
        current, or when outsailed by another.
  
     To fall away.
         (a) To lose flesh; to become lean or emaciated; to pine.
         (b) To renounce or desert allegiance; to revolt or rebel.
         (c) To renounce or desert the faith; to apostatize.
             "These . . . for a while believe, and in time of
             temptation fall away." --Luke viii. 13.
         (d) To perish; to vanish; to be lost. "How . . . can the
             soul . . . fall away into nothing?" --Addison.
         (e) To decline gradually; to fade; to languish, or become
             faint. "One color falls away by just degrees, and
             another rises insensibly." --Addison.
  
     To fall back.
         (a) To recede or retreat; to give way.
         (b) To fail of performing a promise or purpose; not to
             fulfill.
  
     To fall back upon or To fall back on.
         (a) (Mil.) To retreat for safety to (a stronger position
             in the rear, as to a fort or a supporting body of
             troops).
         (b) To have recourse to (a reserved fund, a more reliable
             alternative, or some other available expedient or
             support).
  
     To fall calm, to cease to blow; to become calm.
  
     To fall down.
         (a) To prostrate one's self in worship. "All kings shall
             fall down before him." --Ps. lxxii. 11.
         (b) To sink; to come to the ground. "Down fell the
             beauteous youth." --Dryden.
         (c) To bend or bow, as a suppliant.
         (d) (Naut.) To sail or drift toward the mouth of a river
             or other outlet.
  
     To fall flat, to produce no response or result; to fail of
        the intended effect; as, his speech fell flat.
  
     To fall foul of.
         (a) (Naut.) To have a collision with; to become entangled
             with
         (b) To attack; to make an assault upon.
  
     To fall from, to recede or depart from; not to adhere to;
        as, to fall from an agreement or engagement; to fall from
        allegiance or duty.
  
     To fall from grace (M. E. Ch.), to sin; to withdraw from
        the faith.
  
     To fall home (Ship Carp.), to curve inward; -- said of the
        timbers or upper parts of a ship's side which are much
        within a perpendicular.
  
     To fall in.
         (a) To sink inwards; as, the roof fell in.
         (b) (Mil.) To take one's proper or assigned place in
             line; as, to fall in on the right.
         (c) To come to an end; to terminate; to lapse; as, on the
             death of Mr. B., the annuuity, which he had so long
             received, fell in.
         (d) To become operative. "The reversion, to which he had
             been nominated twenty years before, fell in."
             --Macaulay.
  
     To fall into one's hands, to pass, often suddenly or
        unexpectedly, into one's ownership or control; as, to
        spike cannon when they are likely to fall into the hands
        of the enemy.
  
     To fall in with.
         (a) To meet with accidentally; as, to fall in with a
             friend.
         (b) (Naut.) To meet, as a ship; also, to discover or come
             near, as land.
         (c) To concur with; to agree with; as, the measure falls
             in with popular opinion.
         (d) To comply; to yield to. "You will find it difficult
             to persuade learned men to fall in with your
             projects." --Addison.
  
     To fall off.
         (a) To drop; as, fruits fall off when ripe.
         (b) To withdraw; to separate; to become detached; as,
             friends fall off in adversity. "Love cools,
             friendship falls off, brothers divide." --Shak.
         (c) To perish; to die away; as, words fall off by disuse.
         (d) To apostatize; to forsake; to withdraw from the
             faith, or from allegiance or duty.
             [1913 Webster]
  
                   Those captive tribes . . . fell off
                   From God to worship calves.      --Milton.
         (e) To forsake; to abandon; as, his customers fell off.
         (f) To depreciate; to change for the worse; to
             deteriorate; to become less valuable, abundant, or
             interesting; as, a falling off in the wheat crop; the
             magazine or the review falls off. "O Hamlet, what a
             falling off was there!" --Shak.
         (g) (Naut.) To deviate or trend to the leeward of the
             point to which the head of the ship was before
             directed; to fall to leeward.
  
     To fall on.
         (a) To meet with; to light upon; as, we have fallen on
             evil days.
         (b) To begin suddenly and eagerly. "Fall on, and try the
             appetite to eat." --Dryden.
         (c) To begin an attack; to assault; to assail. "Fall on,
             fall on, and hear him not." --Dryden.
         (d) To drop on; to descend on.
  
     To fall out.
         (a) To quarrel; to begin to contend.
             [1913 Webster]
  
                   A soul exasperated in ills falls out
                   With everything, its friend, itself. --Addison.
         (b) To happen; to befall; to chance. "There fell out a
             bloody quarrel betwixt the frogs and the mice."
             --L'Estrange.
         (c) (Mil.) To leave the ranks, as a soldier.
  
     To fall over.
         (a) To revolt; to desert from one side to another.
         (b) To fall beyond. --Shak.
  
     To fall short, to be deficient; as, the corn falls short;
        they all fall short in duty.
  
     To fall through, to come to nothing; to fail; as, the
        engageent has fallen through.
  
     To fall to, to begin. "Fall to, with eager joy, on homely
        food." --Dryden.
  
     To fall under.
         (a) To come under, or within the limits of; to be
             subjected to; as, they fell under the jurisdiction of
             the emperor.
         (b) To come under; to become the subject of; as, this
             point did not fall under the cognizance or
             deliberations of the court; these things do not fall
             under human sight or observation.
         (c) To come within; to be ranged or reckoned with; to be
             subordinate to in the way of classification; as,
             these substances fall under a different class or
             order.
  
     To fall upon.
         (a) To attack. [See To fall on.]
         (b) To attempt; to have recourse to. "I do not intend to
             fall upon nice disquisitions." --Holder.
         (c) To rush against.
             [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: Fall primarily denotes descending motion, either in a
           perpendicular or inclined direction, and, in most of
           its applications, implies, literally or figuratively,
           velocity, haste, suddenness, or violence. Its use is so
           various, and so mush diversified by modifying words,
           that it is not easy to enumerate its senses in all its
           applications.
           [1913 Webster]

Questions or comments about this site? Contact webmaster@dict.org