flatter

(redirected from flatter themselves)

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

To fit one's body well and make it look especially attractive, as of clothing. You look gorgeous—that dress really flatters your figure!
See also: figure, 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 ?
Among the most formidable of the obstacles which the new Constitution will have to encounter may readily be distinguished the obvious interest of a certain class of men in every State to resist all changes which may hazard a diminution of the power, emolument, and consequence of the offices they hold under the State establishments; and the perverted ambition of another class of men, who will either hope to aggrandize themselves by the confusions of their country, or will flatter themselves with fairer prospects of elevation from the subdivision of the empire into several partial confederacies than from its union under one government.
And it is a certain sign of a wise government and proceeding, when it can hold men's hearts by hopes, when it cannot by satisfaction; and when it can handle things, in such manner, as no evil shall appear so peremptory, but that it hath some outlet of hope; which is the less hard to do, because both particular persons and factions, are apt enough to flatter themselves, or at least to brave that, which they believe not.
Fools think they are awake now, and flatter themselves they know if they are really princes or peasants.
My descendants, if I have any, will flatter themselves with the distinction which this arrest will confer, just as the members of the De Luynes family have done with regard to the estates of the poor Marechal d'Ancre.
intermingled, just by way of variety, with divers side plunges and compound shakes; and they begin to flatter themselves that they are not so badly off, after all.
I feel they change the rules to flatter themselves and to show people who the boss is.
McInne Gerrard reckons the Pitoddrie side dig deeper against Rangers - but McInnes hit straight back and claimed Gers "shouldn't flatter themselves".
The best way to flatter people is to allow them to flatter themselves. Few people will pass up an opportunity to flatter themselves.
Those who rejoice in its collapse, though, and in the post-facto humiliation of "new world order" leaders like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, should not flatter themselves with the illusion that this new generation of political brutes and brigands cannot bring us anything worse.
First of all, patient accounts may be imprecise or colored by their wish to build you up and flatter themselves for picking you.
Published in 1776, it contained this prophetic passage: "They are very weak who flatter themselves that, in the state to which things have come, our colonies will be easily conquered by force alone.
"Also, most people flatter themselves thinking they are worth listening to.
The idea is that the ideologically motivated flatter themselves with the belief that people who share their views are more open-minded than those who do not.
PEOPLE OPEN restaurants to become famous, to flatter themselves, to inflict their culinary delusions on unsuspecting people, or because they have a ' business plan' and an angel investor -- but not many get into the business because they have spare real estate atop a popular Pantaloons store overlooking a hyperactive Metro station.
"Another concept whose bitter falsity has been painfully revealed in Iraq is 'nation-building.' People are not building blocks, however much some may flatter themselves that they can arrange their fellow human beings' lives the way you can arrange pieces on a chess board." Like so many other contemporary intellectuals, Sowell does not so much subscribe to a political philosophy as adopt and abandon ideas whenever convenient to do so from a partisan standpoint.