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flatter (oneself)

To hold a vain, self-congratulatory, and exaggeratedly high opinion of oneself and/or one's achievements. Yeah, don't flatter yourself—she only asked you out to dinner because she wants to ask you about your brother. Gaston likes to flatter himself that he's the best man in town, but everyone knows he's just a pompous jerk.
See also: flatter

flatter one's figure

Fig. [for clothing] to make one look thin or to make one's figure look better than it is. The lines of this dress really flatter your figure. The trousers had a full cut that flattered Maria's figure.
See also: figure, flatter

flatter oneself

Be gratified vainly by one's own achievement; exaggerate one's good points. For example, He flattered himself that his presentation at the sales conference was a success, or She flattered herself that she was by far the best skater at the rink. This usage is often put negatively, as in Don't flatter yourself-we haven't won the contract yet. [Late 1500s]
See also: flatter
References in classic literature ?
There's a difference, certainly, between your whelps and mine, but I venture to flatter myself that it is not due altogether to the mothers.
My Father's house is situated in Bedfordshire, my Aunt's in Middlesex, and tho' I flatter myself with being a tolerable proficient in Geography, I know not how it happened, but I found myself entering this beautifull Vale which I find is in South Wales, when I had expected to have reached my Aunts.
I do not mean, therefore, that Frederica's acquirements should be more than superficial, and I flatter myself that she will not remain long enough at school to understand anything thoroughly.
When I was as old as you, I was a feeling fellow enough, partial to the unfledged, unfostered, and unlucky; but Fortune has knocked me about since: she has even kneaded me with her knuckles, and now I flatter myself I am hard and tough as an India-rubber ball; pervious, though, through a chink or two still, and with one sentient point in the middle of the lump.
I flatter myself," replied Elinor, "that even under the disadvantage of better rooms and a broader staircase, you will hereafter find your own house as faultless as you now do this.
I am greatly mistaken, if any thing of weight has yet been advanced of this tendency; and I flatter myself, that the observations which have been made in the course of these papers have served to place the reverse of that position in as clear a light as any matter still in the womb of time and experience can be susceptible of.
For three days I did my own work and Thomas Mugridge's too; and I flatter myself that I did his work well.
An appreciative listener is always stimulating, and I described, in a humorous manner, certain incidents of my Convalescent Home, in a way which, I flatter myself, greatly amused my hostess.
Now, this is a subject on which I flatter myself I really am
Perhaps I flatter myself, but I believe that even then, as a boy of sixteen, I fully conceived of Falstaff's character, and entered into the author's wonderfully humorous conception of him.
This is the only point, I flatter myself, on which we do not agree.
I have, I flatter myself, made no inconsiderable progress in her affections; but my own are entirely fixed.
That was rather a neat thing, I flatter myself," said Uncle Mac, in high glee at the success of his illumination.
Since that time, I have written to her many letters, but never could obtain an answer, which I must own sits somewhat the heavier, as she herself was, though undesignedly, the occasion of all my sufferings: for, had it not been under the colour of paying his addresses to her, Mr Fitzpatrick would never have found sufficient opportunities to have engaged my heart, which, in other circumstances, I still flatter myself would not have been an easy conquest to such a person.
I do not flatter myself, but if it be possible they flatter me.