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

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
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.

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, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Don't try sizing down your clothes; it doesn't make you look thinner or younger, it's unhealthy and makes you look less flattering. If your body undergoes any noticeable changes; probably due to aging or childbirth, do not force yourself into your old dresses.
High, wide necklines and interesting back details are flattering and emphasize your elegant line.
Do flattering images boost Presidents' popularity, and thus their influence with Congress and other world leaders?
If the experience of a rhetorical form is flattering, the experience of a dialectical form is humiliating.
OED quotes glauer in this sense from The Wars of Alexander, a poem perhaps composed in Lancashire, and surviving in manuscripts by Northern scribes (one from Durham or near it).(9) Glaverande in Morte Arthure 2538 ('Siche glaverande gomes greves me bott lyttill'), defined by OED as 'deceitful, flattering', has also been understood as 'chattering'.(10) On etymology, OED compares glaver 'chatter' with Scottish and Northern claver 'idle talk' and claver 'to prate', first recorded in the seventeenth century, and used by Ramsay, Burns, Scott, and Carlyle.
SHREWSBURY Town midfielder Jon Nolan admits it's 'flattering' to be linked with a move to Sunderland.
Summary: London [U.K], November 28 (ANI): Spanish sculptor Jose Antonio Navarro Arteaga has reportedly created a more flattering version of Real Madrid star striker Cristiano Ronaldo's bust.
My advice for women looking for flattering swimwear is pick a 50s cut swimsuit as it looks attractive on every shape.
Year after year they flatter to deceive and that's about the only flattering thing you can say about them.
And while we are at it, how do stores get those special flattering mirrors in their changing rooms to make you look skinny and your face look soft-focus so you buy all the things?
[Q] What's the most flattering sleeve type for full or jiggly upper arms?
By updating designs and using power stretch fabrics the range incorporates style while providing a flattering fit whatever your shape or size.
Playing with proportions can have a surprisingly flattering effect too - a peplum top with its large exaggerated frill exaggerates the hips, making your waist looks smaller.
Gorgeous doesn't do it justice, what with that flattering neckline and soft shade of dove grey in super flattering fabric.
He said: "It is flattering people think of you in that light, but I would give Steve my backing for the captaincy.