utensils, as knives, forks, and spoons, used at the table for serving and eating food.
dishes or containers for the table that are more or less flat, as plates and saucers (distinguished from hollowware ).

1850–55; flat1 + ware1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To flatware
World English Dictionary
flatware (ˈflætˌwɛə)
1.  cutlery
2.  Compare hollowware any relatively flat tableware such as plates, saucers, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


spoons, forks, and serving implements used at the table. The term flatware was introduced toward the end of the 19th century. Strictly speaking, it excludes knives, which are classified as cutlery (q.v.), although in common American usage knives are generally included.

Learn more about flatware with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Plan on taking either lightweight cups, bowls, plates and flatware or packing
  disposable versions.
Bring cookware, plates, cups and flatware if your cabin has a kitchen or
New flatware, meals and after-meal options are coming in economy due to
  feedback from customers.
Luxuriously appointed dining areas feature fine flatware and crisp linens and
  colorful artwork on the walls.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature