To fall flat

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • To fall flat to produce no effect; to fail in the intended effect; as, his speech fell flat .
    • To fall flat to produce no response or result; to fail of the intended effect; as, his speech fell flat.
    • ***

Quotations

  • E. V. Cooke
    E. V. Cooke
    “You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that? Come up with a smiling face, It's nothing against you to fall down flat/ But to lie there-that's a disgrace.”

Usage

In literature:

This he offered to do in such terms that Borrow's hint at the possible danger of accepting it falls flat.
"George Borrow The Man and His Books" by Edward Thomas
Then it is impossible for the swimmer to fall flat on the water; the upraised leg prevents that.
"Swimming Scientifically Taught" by Frank Eugen Dalton and Louis C. Dalton
If we tried to do the same thing this year it might fall flat, on account of being too carefully planned.
"Grace Harlowe's Third Year at Overton College" by Jessie Graham Flower
Their opinion of it was not improved when a sudden puff of wind blew it flat on the ground, causing the Captain to fall on the top of it.
"The Giant of the North" by R.M. Ballantyne
As the buildings grew old they were apt to fall down, especially the high flats, which became top-heavy.
"Ancient Rome" by Mary Agnes Hamilton
If one drops a flat card edgewise from a height it seems as if it ought to fall straight down to the ground.
"The Romance of War Inventions" by Thomas W. Corbin
And when the fall comes, will it not be flat on thy face, instead of to the common height of men?
"The Ordeal of Richard Feverel" by George Meredith
In his haste to run away and hide he misses the step on the threshold and falls down flat on his face.
"War" by Pierre Loti
Lurching head foremost, the sword's point came ignominiously to the ground with his weight upon it, to prevent his falling flat.
"The Last of the Vikings" by John Bowling
The Indians are going to get here this afternoon, and set up their tepees down on the flats below the falls.
"Boy Scouts in Glacier Park" by Walter Prichard Eaton
Lessons and recitations, despite the best efforts of Halsey and Beach and the lamb-like bleatings of Meeker, seemed to fall flat.
"From School to Battle-field" by Charles King
His cheeks seemed to fall flat and flabby.
"Out of the Air" by Inez Haynes Irwin
The principle in the fall of flat surfaces is strictly applicable to the bird.
"Lecture on Artificial Flight" by Wm. G. Krueger
Of course the whole plan will fall flat if the teacher wholly delegates to his scholars any or all of these lines of work.
"Sunday-School Success" by Amos R. Wells
Having determined on emigrating to Indiana, he began preparations for removal in the fall of 1816 by building for his use a flat-boat.
"Abraham Lincoln, Volume 1 (of 2) The True Story Of A Great Life" by William H. Herndon Jesse W. Weik
The Missouri stretches thirty nine hundred miles to the Great Falls, among the Flat Foot Indians, and five thousand from New Orleans.
"Norman's New Orleans and Environs" by B. M. Norman
These plates were allowed to fall flat on to a floor of wood or thrown to a distance and allowed to fall.
"British Manufacturing Industries" by L. Arnoux
Any other would have had to fall flat.
"The Scarecrow and Other Stories" by G. Ranger Wormser
To such a man as Lord Horton I felt that the purloining of the Fellmongers' Goblet must fall flat indeed.
"The Burglars' Club" by Henry A. Hering
When this King of Congo cometh to his host, all the soldiers, as he passeth, fall flat on their faces to the ground.
"The Strange Adventures of Andrew Battell" by Andrew Battell
***

In poetry:

But Rome, we knocke at gate of God,
for opening to his throne:
Thou Rome, we fall downe flat to craue,
that we may weare his name.
"A description of olde Rome" by Roger Cotton
Midnight, and a letter comes to me from our mistress:
Telling me to come to Tibur:
At once!!
'Bright tips reach up from twin towers,
'Anienan spring water falls into flat-spread pools.'
"Homage To Sextus Propertius - III" by Ezra Pound
Oh! how awful and grand it must be on a sunshiny day
To see one of these icy mountains in pieces give way!
While, crack after crack, it falls with a mighty crash
Flat upon the sea with a fearful splash.
"Greenland's Icy Mountains" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

Nuggets fall flat in 112-97 loss to Warriors.
Dukes fall flat as Bison romp to win.
Syracuse Silver Knights fall flat in opener with 13-8 loss to Chicago.
Former Minnesota Gov Tim Pawlenty (R) had quite a few jabs at President Obama in his prepared remarks, –but his delivery appeared to fall flat in the hall.
Vanderbilt women fall flat in follow up to last week's victory over Lady Vols.
Ninth-ranked Hoyas fall flat on road in 72-60 loss to unranked Panthers.
Small breweries ready to tap into market - or fall flat .
Plans to save us fall flat .
Republican offers plan to let some get care outside VA. McCain's attacks on rival fall flat with vets group.
Knuckleball falls flat for Mets' R.A. Dickey in loss to Phillies.
One-win Sherwood jumps out to lead, falls flat in loss to Pinewood.
Plans to save us fall flat.
The Royals come out flat in their home opener and lose to Trenton, fall to 0-2.
Lakers flat in first half, fall to Knicks, 116-107.
A woman with curly hair learns how to give herself a blow-out that won't fall flat.
***