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flat·ter / ˈflatər/ • v. [tr.] lavish insincere praise and compliments upon (someone), esp. to further one's own interests: she was flattering him to avoid doing what he wanted. ∎  give an unrealistically favorable impression of: the portraitist flatters his sitter to the detriment of his art. ∎  (usu. be flattered) make (someone) feel honored and pleased: [tr.] I was very flattered to be given the commission | [tr.] at least I am flattered that you don't find me boring. ∎  (flatter oneself) make oneself feel pleased by believing something favorable about oneself, typically something that is unfounded: I flatter myself I'm the best dressed man here. ∎  (of a color or a style of clothing) make (someone) appear more attractive or to the best advantage: the muted fuchsia shade flattered her pale skin. ∎ archaic please (the ear or eye): the beauty of the stone flattered the young clergyman's eyes.DERIVATIVES: flat·ter·er n.