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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She reveled in the white tiles, the white gloss paint, the eternal clearing-up and the clatter of flatware.

    Ptomaine Street Carolyn Wells
  • She loved the flatware—it always made her think of a wedding—sometimes of her own.

    Ptomaine Street Carolyn Wells
  • He frequently decorated his flatware with a refined etching or gravure, his hollow ware with reeding.

    Seaport in Virginia Gay Montague Moore
  • His flatware is usually distinguished by a shell motif, and gadroon edges finish and decorate many of his pieces.

    Seaport in Virginia Gay Montague Moore
  • Little of this, understandably, was likely to have been thrown away or lost, except for an occasional piece of 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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