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[flat-wair] /ˈflætˌwɛər/
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).
Origin of flatware
1850-55; flat1 + ware1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for flatware
  • 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 kitchenette.
  • 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.
  • We dug in, using warm chapati instead of flatware to handle the food.
  • The family of the future would sit in plastic chairs, and dine on plastic tables using plastic plates and flatware.
  • The official flatware, ashtrays and such will probably appeal to antiques dealers.
  • We specialize in new and used flatware and hollowware.
  • When flatware is present and exposed, a reasonable level of protection shall be provided.
  • Stainless steel is an alternate material used widely in the manufacture of table flatware.
British Dictionary definitions for flatware


noun (US & Canadian)
any relatively flat tableware such as plates, saucers, etc Compare hollowware
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for flatware

1851, from flat (adj.) + ware (n.). Originally as distinguished from hollow ware; U.S. sense of "domestic cutlery" recorded by 1895.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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