fall flat

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fall flat

1. To fail or be ineffective. Good luck—the last time management tried to implement a new dress code, that measure fell flat.
2. To fail to be humorous, as of a joke. A: "Unfortunately, my first stand-up routine really fell flat." B: "Well, maybe you just had the wrong audience."
See also: fall, flat

fall flat

Fail, prove to be ineffective, as in His jokes nearly always fell flat-no one ever laughed at them. [First half of 1800s]
See also: fall, flat

fall flat

COMMON
1. If an event or an attempt to do something falls flat, it is completely unsuccessful. If the efforts fall flat and the economic situation does not change, this city can expect another riot 25 years from now. She was badly disappointed when the evening fell flat.
2. If a joke falls flat, nobody thinks it is funny. He then started trying to tell jokes to the assembled gathering. These too fell flat.
See also: fall, flat

fall flat

fail completely to produce the intended or expected effect.
See also: fall, flat

fall ˈflat

if a joke, a story, or an event falls flat, it completely fails to amuse people or to have the effect that was intended: I didn’t think the comedian was funny at all — most of his jokes fell completely flat.
See also: fall, flat

fall flat

1. To fail miserably when attempting to achieve a result.
2. To have no effect: The jokes fell flat.
See also: fall, flat
References in periodicals archive ?
To be fair to the Dutchman (above), he looks to have fallen flat on his face at birth.
The young prince had fallen flat on his face getting out of a car at Birkhall, her home on the Balmoral estate.
Without both, this book about the American Museum of Natural History might well have fallen flat. Instead, Wallace offers a fascinating look behind the scenes at the people and objects associated with that venerable institution--and comes up with a story that is full of wonder (with elements such as the famous unearthing of the Oviraptor eggs in the Gobi Desert, the Star of India, the slaying of the Malay Dragon), mystery ("Child Frick's Mysterious Trove," "Search for the Living Dinosaur"), human interest (lively anecdotes about and photos of anthropologist Margaret Mead, gorilla conservationist Carl Akeley, curator F.W.
The markets have been fairly ambivalent towards internet IPOs in recent weeks, with some soaring, while others have fallen flat, but Ask Jeeves cut a slightly unlikely figure as the latest net IPO star.
However, Srnicek's hopes of a move to neighbours Sunderland have fallen flat.