UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈpleɪn/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/pleɪn/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(plān)

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. 
  1. distinct to the eye or ear:in plain view.
  2. clear to the mind;
    evident:He made his meaning plain.
  3. easily understood:the plain truth.
  4. complete;
    utter:[before a noun]plain stupidity.
  5. ordinary;
    without false display:plain, simple farm people.
  6. not beautiful;
    unattractive:a plain face.
  7. with little or no decoration;
    not fancy:a plain blue suit.
  8. not rich, highly seasoned, or fancy in preparation, as food:plain cooking.

  1. clearly and simply:They're just plain stupid.

n. [countable]
  1. a large, flat area of land not higher than nearby areas.
plain•ness, n. [uncountable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
plain1  (plān),USA pronunciation adj.,  -er, -est, adv., n. 
    1. clear or distinct to the eye or ear:a plain trail to the river; to stand in plain view.
    2. clear to the mind;
      evident, manifest, or obvious:to make one's meaning plain.
    3. conveying the meaning clearly and simply;
      easily understood:plain talk.
    4. downright;
      self-evident:plain folly; plain stupidity.
    5. free from ambiguity or evasion;
      outspoken:the plain truth of the matter.
    6. without special pretensions, superiority, elegance, etc.;
      ordinary:plain people.
    7. not beautiful;
      physically unattractive or undistinguished:a plain face.
    8. without intricacies or difficulties.
    9. ordinary, simple, or unostentatious:Although she was a duchess, her manners were attractively plain.
    10. with little or no embellishment, decoration, or enhancing elaboration:a plain blue suit.
    11. without a pattern, figure, or device:a plain fabric.
    12. not rich, highly seasoned, or elaborately prepared, as food:a plain diet.
    13. flat or level:plain country.
    14. unobstructed, clear, or open, as ground, a space, etc.
    15. Games[Cards.]being other than a face card or a trump.

    1. clearly and simply:He's just plain stupid.

    1. 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.
    2. Place NamesThe Plains. See  Great Plains. 
    plainly, adv. 
    plainness, n. 
    • 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.

plain2  (plān),USA pronunciation v.i. [Brit. Dial.]
  1. 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
  1. flat or smooth; level
  2. not complicated; clear: the plain truth
  3. not difficult; simple or easy: a plain task
  4. honest or straightforward
  5. lowly, esp in social rank or education
  6. without adornment or show: a plain coat
  7. (of fabric) without pattern or of simple untwilled weave
  8. not attractive
  9. not mixed; simple: plain vodka
  10. of or done in plain
  1. a level or almost level tract of country, esp an extensive treeless region
  2. 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
  1. (intensifier): just plain tired
Etymology: 13th Century: from Old French: simple, from Latin plānus level, distinct, clear

ˈplainly adv ˈplainness n
plain /pleɪn/ vb
  1. a dialect or poetic word for complain
Etymology: 14th Century pleignen, from Old French plaindre to lament, from Latin plangere to beat
'plain' also found in these entries:
Collocations: the [African, desert, coastal, flat, vast, high, arid] plains, plain [white, black, gray], the [land, area, region] consists (mainly) of plains, more...

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