flatter

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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 to deceive

To seem better or more promising than someone or something really is. A: "I can't believe that team didn't make the playoffs after starting the season so well." B: "I guess they just flattered to deceive."
See also: deceive, 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

flatter to deceive

encourage on insufficient grounds and cause disappointment.
1913 Field Two furlongs from home Maiden Erlegh looked most dangerous, but he flattered only to deceive.
See also: deceive, 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.
My reading had given me criterions different from those of the simple life of our village, and I did not flatter myself that my calling would have been thought one of great social dignity in the world where I hoped some day to make my living.
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.
You would say you don't see it; at least I flatter myself I read as much in your eye
Now, when any vicious simpleton excites my disgust by his paltry ribaldry, I cannot flatter myself that I am better than he: I am forced to confess that he and I are on a level.
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.
As a clergyman, moreover, I feel it my duty to promote and establish the blessing of peace in all families within in the reach of my influence; and on these grounds I flatter myself that my present overtures are highly commendable, and that the circumstance of my being next in the entail of Longbourn estate will be kindly overlooked on your side, and not lead you to reject the offered olive-branch.
For three days I did my own work and Thomas Mugridge's too; and I flatter myself that I did his work well.
Max Nottingham, via email Working for better place I WON'T flatter myself by saying 'great minds think alike', but the report of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association's efforts ('Youth group clean up the streets', M.
I thought for a moment I was seeing myself, but realized I should not flatter myself.