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3 definitions found
 for flat file
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 WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  flat file
      n 1: a file with two flat surfaces

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  flat file
  
      A single file containing flat
     ASCII representing or encoding some structure, e.g. a
     database, tree or network.
  
     Flat files can be processed with general purpose tools such as
     Perl and text editors but are less efficient than binary
     files if they must be parsed repeatedly by a program.  Flat
     files are more portable between different operating systems
     and application programs than binary files, and are more
     easily transmitted in electronic mail.
  
     See also flatten, sharchive.
  
     [{Jargon File]
  
     (1996-01-26)
  

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