fall flat

(redirected from fell flat)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia.

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

fall flat

fail completely to produce the intended or expected effect.
See also: fall, flat
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
In a recent interview with film site Collider.com, Worthington promised that this film delivers where the first one fell flat. "It's awesome," he says.
The accused was then seen trying to inspect the damage but she fell flat on her face without trying to support herself.
Instead, I flung my arm way back in the air, missed the ball and fell flat on my butt.
However, her bid fell flat, despite the perfect conditions.
Finally, apparently my attempt at writing 'tongue-in-cheek about medical residents' salaries fell flat. The issue is not whether they can afford to buy beer and pizza, of course, but rather their willingness to accept gifts that all evidence suggests will shape their judgment when they take out the prescription pad.
THIRTY years ago The Flatlanders fell flat on their faces and went their separate ways, leading to solo success for Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock.
BIG Brother star Jade Goody was in tears when she fell flat on her backside during pantomime rehearsals.
Without the spectacular virtuosity or performance bravado I associate with the vernacular, and before a watching audience as opposed to a dancing crowd, the intended sexy fun of the piece fell flat. Though excellent to see girl hip-hoppers--five of the six performers were women--the risky business of fusing concert dance with club culture came off as "kidz" on display, sex for sale.
Somewhere along the line, he attempted to convert his newsletter to paid subcriptions but that fell flat on its face.
I think there is going to be a lot of shifting and subletting of space that the dot-com industry took in anticipation but fell flat," LaPorte said.
BORDEAUX: A scheme to provide residents with free bikes fell flat as authorities reported that 15 bikes were missing yesterday and seven others were damaged.
Moeller writes: "It's probable that if CJD had been tied to the eating of Asian or African water buffaloes it would never have come to the public's attention at all." Clearly the possible connection of CJD to BSE needed to be explored, but the media's attempt to turn CJD into the next Ebola fell flat.
But they did not control it, and a subsequent clerical effort to stage a seven-day revival fell flat. Temporal authorities, worried by crowds and supernatural displays of power, were more cautious.
But the rebound fell flat. It is estimated that real GNP rose only .9% in fourth quarter 1991, and may grow by only 1.5% by April.
But the jape fell flat because German ace Michael Ballack doesn't do laughter.