1. Lacking any complex internal structure. "That bitty box has only a flat file system, not a hierarchical one." The verb form is flatten. Usually used pejoratively (at least with respect to file systems).

2. Said of a memory architecture like that of the VAX or Motorola 680x0 that is one big linear address space (typically with each possible value of a processor register corresponding to a unique address). This is a Good Thing. The opposite is a "segmented" architecture like that of the Intel 80x86 in which addresses are composed from a base-register/offset pair. Segmented designs are generally considered cretinous.

3. A flat domain is one where all elements except bottom are incomparable (equally well defined). E.g. the integers.

(01 Jul 2002)

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<adjective>

1. Having an even and horizontal surface, or nearly so, without prominences or depressions; level without inclination; plane.

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.

3. <art> Wanting relief; destitute of variety; without points of prominence and striking interest.

4. Tasteless; stale; vapid; insipid; dead; as, fruit or drink flat to the taste.

5. Unanimated; dull; uninteresting; without point or spirit; monotonous; as, a flat speech or composition.

6. Lacking liveliness of commercial exchange and dealings; depressed; dull; as, the market is flat.

7. Clear; unmistakable; peremptory; absolute; positive; downright.

Synonyms: flat-out.

8. <music> Below the true pitch; hence, as applied to intervals, minor, or lower by a half step; as, a flat seventh; A flat.

Not sharp or shrill; not acute; as, a flat sound.

9. <phonetics> Sonant; vocal; applied to any one of the sonant or vocal consonants, as distinguished from a nonsonant (or sharp) consonant.

10. <sport> Having a head at a very obtuse angle to the shaft; said of a club.

11. <grammar> 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.

12. <horticulture> Flattening at the ends; said of certain fruits.

(06 Feb 2009)

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1. Having an even and horizontal surface, or nearly so, without prominences or depressions; level without inclination; plane. "Though sun and moon Were in the flat sea sunk." (Milton)

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. "What ruins kingdoms, and lays cities flat!" (Milton) "I feel . . . My hopes all flat." (Milton)

3. Wanting relief; destitute of variety; without points of prominence and striking interest. "A large part of the work is, to me, very flat." (Coleridge)

4. Tasteless; stale; vapid; insipid; dead; as, fruit or drink flat to the taste.

5. Unanimated; dull; uninteresting; without point or spirit; monotonous; as, a flat speech or composition. "How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable Seem to me all the uses of this world." (Shak)

6. Lacking liveliness of commercial exchange and dealings; depressed; dull; as, the market is flat.

7. Clear; unmistakable; peremptory; absolute; positive; downright. "Flat burglary as ever was committed." (Shak) "A great tobacco taker too, that's flat." (Marston)

8. Below the true pitch; hence, as applied to intervals, minor, or lower by a half step; as, a flat seventh; A flat. Not sharp or shrill; not acute; as, a flat sound.

9. Sonant; vocal; applied to any one of the sonant or vocal consonants, as distinguished from a nonsonant (or sharp) consonant. Flat arch.

<geometry> A coat of water colour of one uniform shade. To fall flat, to produce no effect; to fail in the intended effect; as, his speech fell flat. "Of all who fell by saber or by shot, Not one fell half so flat as Walter Scott." (Lord Erskine)

Origin: Akin to Icel. Flatr, Sw. Flat, Dan. Flad, OHG. Flaz, and AS. Flet floor, G. Flotz stratum, layer.

1. A level surface, without elevation, relief, or prominences; an extended plain; specifically, in the United States, a level tract along the along the banks of a river; as, the Mohawk Flats. "Envy is as the sunbeams that beat hotter upon a bank, or steep rising ground, than upon a flat." (Bacon)

2. A level tract lying at little depth below the surface of water, or alternately covered and left bare by the tide; a shoal; a shallow; a strand. "Half my power, this night Passing these flats, are taken by the tide." (Shak)

3. Something broad and flat in form; as: A flat-bottomed boat, without keel, and of small draught.

A straw hat, broad-brimmed and low-crowned.

<machinery> A car without a roof, the body of which is a platform without sides; a platform car.

A platform on wheel, upon which emblematic designs, etc, are carried in processions.

4. The flat part, or side, of anything; as, the broad side of a blade, as distinguished from its edge.

5. A floor, loft, or story in a building; especially, a floor of a house, which forms a complete residence in itself.

6. <chemical>

A horizontal vein or ore deposit auxiliary to a main vein; also, any horizontal portion of a vein not elsewhere horizontal.

7. A dull fellow; a simpleton; a numskull. "Or if you can not make a speech, Because you are a flat." (Holmes)

8. A character [<su:flat/] before a note, indicating a tone which is a half step or semitone lower.

9. <geometry> A homaloid space or extension.

(01 Mar 1998)

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