Definition of flattery in English:


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nounplural noun flatteries

  • Excessive and insincere praise, given especially to further one's own interests.

    ‘his healthy distrust of courtiers' flattery’
    • ‘Why people comment me with such flatteries, I cannot think!’
    • ‘As I expected, no man could resist my puppy charms for long - especially when combined with ego-stroking flatteries.’
    • ‘They continued to walk along in the garden, Mack enchanting her with his flatteries and humorous stories about himself that he made up on the spot.’
    • ‘So, notwithstanding the suggestion of the article, obviously not all such comments are merely insincere flattery.’
    • ‘There are some who fear that lavish praise equates flattery.’
    • ‘I wonder what trinket or snippet of insincere flattery might gladden their hearts.’
    • ‘A smarmy radio station Director considers himself positively brilliant by getting rid of a troublesome author through insincere flattery.’
    • ‘His premise is a cheery one, that flattery lies between praise and porky pies, something that can certainly be abused by charlatans and rogues but which also acts as a social lubricant.’
    • ‘Newly appointed ministers have always been the targets of inflated flattery from vested interests eager to gain an early place in their affections.’
    • ‘He needed Bill's insincere flattery, even though he was only partly swayed by it.’
    • ‘He begins with a little flattery, praising our very presence.’
    • ‘He had merely spoken kindly and sincerely to her, not using the meaningless flattery most courtiers employed in her presence.’
    • ‘I usually have all kinds of flattery and nice words, and I could this time, too.’
    • ‘I have received more compliments and more flattery than is healthy for me.’
    • ‘She knew, truly enough however, that her godfather didn't believe in compliments and flattery unless they were earned.’
    • ‘Compliments and flattery are nice, but I can offer you much, much more.’
    • ‘He was not the sort of prince who adored flattery and adulation, public appearances and such.’
    • ‘Yes, flattery and a show of interest will get you everywhere.’
    • ‘You are not inclined toward flattery, so any compliment you give is earned.’
    praise, adulation, compliments, blandishments, admiration, honeyed words, pats on the back
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/ˈfladərē/ /ˈflædəri/


Middle English from Old French flaterie, from flater ‘stroke, flatter’, probably of Germanic origin and related to flat.