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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

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 periodicals archive ?
Mrs Sarah Presbytery" remarks flatteringly to "Mr Genius" [David Hume], "since [my sons] got into your good company, they have put off the old man entirely: they have acquired a jaunty air, a military swagger, and a G_d-d_n-me look; they are metamorphosed so very much to the better, that I scarce know them to be my own children" (in Douglas: A Tragedy 5).
The differences between the technician and the genius may be seen by comparing it with work from Basel by Cranach himself: the portrait of Johann Friedrich, flatteringly called the Magnanimous, the Electoral Duke of Saxony.
It's just covered by a lot of wicked, and hilarious, satire that flatteringly presumes its target audience, and their parents, are smarter than Hollywood usually gives them credit for.
The logo doesn't scream at you, the frames are flatteringly oversized and the colours are simple subtle metallics.
s exclusive Tatler Magazine, which flatteringly compared him to James Bond, Jay Gatsby and Thomas Crown.
A kickshaw is defined either in a neutral manner as "a bauble, trifle, or knickknack" or more flatteringly as "a fancy tidbit; a delicacy.
Less flatteringly, the band have been called Boy Division because of the alleged resemblance between fresh-faced Tom's charismatic live act and that of haunted Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, who committed suicide in 1980.
We discovered that it was perfectly all right for Charlie to cause nerve-jangling embarrassment by snogging Camilla in front of everyone - because her Army officer husband Andrew Parker Bowles (for whom Princess Anne was flatteringly described as "a past shag") slept with other women.
At a reception held in the Town Hall to mark the event the Lord Lieutenant Alan Waterworth somewhat flatteringly referred to Quilliam professionally as the Rex Makin of his day.
But lit flatteringly and sitting at solid modern seats, no one looked out of place.
These days plain colours with smart blocking dominate skiwear, with silhouettes which are more flatteringly fitted and less bulbous.
The 30-second ad features the junior Senator from the Commonwealth of Kentucky talking about his father flatteringly, as most sons would.
All offered visions of America that were flatteringly attractive to the euphoric crowd at this "Road to Victory" conference.