What does flattery mean?

Definitions for flatteryˈflæt ə ri

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word flattery.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. flattery(noun)

    excessive or insincere praise


  1. flattery(Noun)

    Excessive praise or approval, which is often insincere and sometimes contrived to win favour.

  2. flattery(Noun)

    An instance of excessive praise.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Flattery(verb)

    the act or practice of flattering; the act of pleasing by artiful commendation or compliments; adulation; false, insincere, or excessive praise


  1. Flattery

    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.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of flattery in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of flattery in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Charles Caleb Colton:

    Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.

  2. Jack Paar:

    Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery.

  3. Adlai Ewing Stevenson:

    Flattery is all right so long as you don't inhale.

  4. Thomas B. Macaulay:

    It is possible to be below flattery as well as above it.

  5. Vikrant Parsai:

    The best form of flattery is to master the art of listening.

Images & Illustrations of flattery

  1. flatteryflatteryflattery

Translations for flattery

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"flattery." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 18 Mar. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/flattery>.

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