Definitions for flatteryˈflæt ə ri
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word flattery
excessive or insincere praise
Excessive praise or approval, which is often insincere and sometimes contrived to win favour.
An instance of excessive praise.
the act or practice of flattering; the act of pleasing by artiful commendation or compliments; adulation; false, insincere, or excessive praise
Flattery is the act of giving excessive compliments, generally for the purpose of ingratiating oneself with the subject. Historically, flattery has been used as a standard form of discourse when addressing a king or queen. In the Renaissance, it was a common practice among writers to flatter the reigning monarch, as Edmund Spenser flattered Queen Elizabeth I in The Faerie Queene, William Shakespeare flattered King James I in Macbeth and Niccolò Machiavelli flattered Lorenzo II de' Medici, ruler of Florence and Duke of Urbino, in The Prince. Flattery is also used in pick-up lines when attempting to initiate romantic courtship. Most associations with flattery, however, are negative. Negative descriptions of flattery range at least as far back in history as The Bible. In the Divine Comedy, Dante depicts flatterers wading in human excrement, stating that their words were the equivalent of excrement, in the 8th Circle of Hell. An insincere flatterer is a stock character in many literary works. Examples include Wormtongue from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Goneril and Regan from King Lear, and Iago from Othello. Historians and philosophers have paid attention to flattery as a problem in ethics and politics. Plutarch wrote an essay on "How to Tell a Flatterer from a Friend." Julius Caesar was notorious for his flattery. In his Praise of Folly, Erasmus commended flattery because it "raises downcast spirits, comforts the sad, rouses the apathetic, stirs up the stolid, cheers the sick, restrains the headstrong, brings lovers together and keeps them united."
The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz
Cologne water, to be smelled of but not swallowed.
Translations for flattery
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- lichotka, pochlebování, lichoceníCzech
- Geschmeichel, Schmus, Schmeichelei, SchöntuereiGerman
- camelo, flor, piropo, peloteo, adulación, requiebro, lisonja, halago, zalameríaSpanish
- imartelu, mielistelyFinnish
- spleá, spleáchasIrish
- lusinga, salamelecchiItalian
- lisonja, bajulaçãoPortuguese
- подхали́мство, лестьRussian
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