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 ?
Some figures are running forward, while others have fallen flat on their faces.
But with the state Department of Toxic Substances Control's decision to put construction of the Santee project on hold, those assurances have fallen flat.
Yaroslavsky said officials of the city, the DNC and the local host committee for the convention - who had promised to pay for the convention with private funds - ``have basically fallen flat on their backs.
The big guy lets go of me and I would have fallen flat on my face if the others hadn't pressed in close to shake my hand .
Even Perot's recent attempts to use electronics to reach a relatively narrow slice of the public - the million or so members of his new Reform Party - have fallen flat, forcing him to create a bifurcated convention and a voting process fraught with problems.
I think anybody who has tried to make anything of this has fallen flat," Dolle said.