- Inflections of 'plain' (adjadjective: Describes a noun or pronoun--for example, "a tall girl," "an interesting book," "a big house."):
- adj comparative
- adj superlative
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
plain1 /pleɪn/USA pronunciation
adj., -er, -est, adv., n. adj.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
- distinct to the eye or ear:in plain view.
- clear to the mind;
evident:He made his meaning plain.
- easily understood:the plain truth.
utter:[before a noun]plain stupidity.
without false display:plain, simple farm people.
- not beautiful;
unattractive:a plain face.
- with little or no decoration;
not fancy:a plain blue suit.
- not rich, highly seasoned, or fancy in preparation, as food:plain cooking.
- clearly and simply:They're just plain stupid.
plain•ness, n. [uncountable]
- a large, flat area of land not higher than nearby areas.
(plān),USA pronunciation adj., -er, -est, adv., n.
(plān),USA pronunciation v.i. [Brit. Dial.]
- clear or distinct to the eye or ear:a plain trail to the river; to stand in plain view.
- clear to the mind;
evident, manifest, or obvious:to make one's meaning plain.
- conveying the meaning clearly and simply;
easily understood:plain talk.
self-evident:plain folly; plain stupidity.
- free from ambiguity or evasion;
outspoken:the plain truth of the matter.
- without special pretensions, superiority, elegance, etc.;
- not beautiful;
physically unattractive or undistinguished:a plain face.
- without intricacies or difficulties.
- ordinary, simple, or unostentatious:Although she was a duchess, her manners were attractively plain.
- with little or no embellishment, decoration, or enhancing elaboration:a plain blue suit.
- without a pattern, figure, or device:a plain fabric.
- not rich, highly seasoned, or elaborately prepared, as food:a plain diet.
- flat or level:plain country.
- unobstructed, clear, or open, as ground, a space, etc.
- Games[Cards.]being other than a face card or a trump.
- clearly and simply:He's just plain stupid.
- an area of land not significantly higher than adjacent areas and with relatively minor differences in elevation, commonly less than 500 ft. (150 m), within the area.
- Place NamesThe Plains. See Great Plains.
- Latin plānus flat, level, plānum flat country
- Old French (adjective, adjectival and noun, nominal)
- Middle English (adjective, adjectival, adverb, adverbial, and noun, nominal) 1250–1300
- 1, 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged lucid, understandable, intelligible, unmistakable, apparent, perspicuous.
- 2, 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged unambiguous, unequivocal, patent, transparent;
- 5.See corresponding entry in Unabridged unreserved, straightforward, blunt, frank, ingenuous, open, sincere.
- 6.See corresponding entry in Unabridged unpretentious.
- 10.See corresponding entry in Unabridged unadorned. See homely.
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged indistinct.
- 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged obscure.
- 13.See corresponding entry in Unabridged hilly.
- British Termsto complain.
- Latin plangere to beat (the breast, etc.), lament; akin to Greek plé̄ssein to strike
- Old French plaign-, stem of plaindre
- Middle English plei(g)nen 1250–1300
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
plain /pleɪn/ adj
- flat or smooth; level
- not complicated; clear: the plain truth
- not difficult; simple or easy: a plain task
- honest or straightforward
- lowly, esp in social rank or education
- without adornment or show: a plain coat
- (of fabric) without pattern or of simple untwilled weave
- not attractive
- not mixed; simple: plain vodka
- of or done in plain
- a level or almost level tract of country, esp an extensive treeless region
- a simple stitch in knitting made by putting the right needle into a loop on the left needle, passing the wool round the right needle, and pulling it through the loop, thus forming a new loop
Etymology: 13th Century: from Old French: simple, from Latin plānus level, distinct, clearˈplainly adv ˈplainness n
- (intensifier): just plain tired
plain /pleɪn/ vb
Etymology: 14th Century pleignen, from Old French plaindre to lament, from Latin plangere to beat
- a dialect or poetic word for complain
'plain' also found in these entries: