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fall flat

  1. To produce no effect; to fail in the intended effect.
    The politician's speech fell flat.
    • Lord Erskine
      Of all who fell by saber or by shot, / Not one fell half so flat as Walter Scott.
    • 2012 May 13, Alistair Magowan, “Sunderland 0-1 Man Utd”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      United were made to pay for letting an eight-point lead as little as five weeks ago slip and, despite their final-day efforts, they will look back on a season where, when they needed to step up, they fell flat.