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 ?
When a farmer once got into the habit of going to Cutter, it was like gambling or the lottery; in an hour of discouragement he went back.
Or a gambling hell," said his brother reflectively.
That was another thing, the men said--all the saloon-keepers had to be "Indians," and to put up on demand, otherwise they could not do business on Sundays, nor have any gambling at all.
The priests opposed both my fire and life in- surance, on the ground that it was an insolent attempt to hinder the decrees of God; and if you pointed out that they did not hinder the decrees in the least, but only modified the hard consequences of them if you took out policies and had luck, they retorted that that was gambling against the decrees of God, and was just as bad.
He brought back one or two new habits with him, one of which he rather openly practiced--tippling--but concealed another, which was gambling.
He was a doctor in the neighbourhood when he married her, and a man, I surmised, of some parts and promise, but, moving to town, he had fallen into loose ways, taken to drinking and gambling, and had finally deserted her for another woman--at the very moment when their first child was born.
Your mother's eyes are bad again; and your brother Berkeley has been gambling, and seems to think I ought to pay his debts for him.
Your worship must know that this gentleman has just now won more than a thousand reals in that gambling house opposite, and God knows how.
This young man was the nephew of one of the Nob Hill magnates, who run the San Francisco Stock Exchange, much as more humble adventurers, in the corner of some public park at home, may be seen to perform the simple artifice of pea and thimble: for their own profit, that is to say, and the discouragement of public gambling.
In fact, I have no intention of going there again, since every one is for gambling, and for nothing but gambling.
The only excesses indulged in by this temperate and exemplary people, appear to be gambling and horseracing.
I asked, being in an idle mood, because, if an obvious ship's officer, I was not, as a matter of fact, down at the docks to "look for a berth," an occupation as engrossing as gambling, and as little favourable to the free exchange of ideas, besides being destructive of the kindly temper needed for casual intercourse with one's fellow-creatures.
Well, excuse my speaking so plainly, but I know how addicted you are to gambling.
Or he engages with his comrades in games of dexterity, agility and strength; or in gambling games in which everything is put at hazard with a recklessness seldom witnessed in civilized life.
It was only youth that dared pursue happiness--to purchase delicious idleness by gambling with death.