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noun \ˈgrān\

Simple Definition of grain

  • : the seeds of plants (such as wheat, corn, and rice) that are used for food; also : a single seed of wheat, corn, rice, etc.

  • : a plant that produces grain

  • : a small, hard piece of something

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of grain

  1. 1 a (1) obsolete :  a single small hard seed (2) :  a seed or fruit of a cereal grass :  caryopsis b :  the seeds or fruits of various food plants including the cereal grasses and in commercial and statutory usage other plants (as the soybean) c :  plants producing grain

  2. 2 a (1) :  a small hard particle or crystal (2) :  any of the particles produced in a photographic material by its development; also :  the size of such grains in the aggregate (3) :  an individual crystal in a metal b :  a minute portion or particle c :  the least amount possible <a grain of truth>

  3. 3 a :  kermes or a scarlet dye made from it b :  cochineal or a brilliant scarlet dye made from it c :  a fast dye d archaic :  color, tint

  4. 4 a :  a granulated surface or appearance b :  the outer or hair side of a skin or hide

  5. 5 :  a unit of weight based on the weight of a grain of wheat taken as an average of the weight of grains from the middle of the ear — see weight table

  6. 6 a :  the stratification of the wood fibers in a piece of wood b :  a texture due to constituent particles or fibers <the grain of a rock> c :  the direction of threads in cloth

  7. 7 :  tactile quality

  8. 8 a :  natural disposition :  temper <lying goes against my grain> b :  a basic or characteristic quality c :  a prevalent ideology or convention <teaching against the grain>


play \ˈgrānd\ adjective



Examples of grain in a sentence

  1. bread made from whole wheat grain

  2. The machine grinds grain into flour.

  3. The farm grows a variety of grains.

  4. Anyone with a grain of sense knows that she's lying.

  5. There is not a grain of truth in what he said.

Origin and Etymology of grain

Middle English, partly from Anglo-French grain cereal grain, from Latin granum; partly from Anglo-French graine seed, kermes, from Latin grana, plural of granum — more at corn

First Known Use: 14th century

Other Seed Plant Terms




Definition of grain

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  ingrain

  3. 2 :  to form into grains :  granulate

  4. 3 :  to paint in imitation of the grain of wood or stone

  5. 4 :  to feed with grain

  6. intransitive verb
  7. :  to become granular :  granulate




First Known Use of grain


GRAIN Defined for Kids


noun \ˈgrān\

Definition of grain for Students

  1. 1 :  the edible seed or seeds of some grasses (as wheat, corn, or oats) or a few other plants (as buckwheat)

  2. 2 :  plants that produce grain

  3. 3 :  a small hard particle <a grain of sand>

  4. 4 :  a tiny amount <a grain of truth>

  5. 5 :  a unit of weight equal to 0.0648 gram

  6. 6 :  the arrangement of fibers in wood


\ˈgrānd\ adjective

Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈgrān\

Medical Definition of grain

  1. 1a:  a seed or fruit of a cereal grassb:  the seeds or fruits of various food plants including the cereal grasses and in commercial and statutory usage other plants (as the soybean)c:  plants producing grain

  2. 2:  a small hard particle or crystal (as of sand or salt)

  3. 3:  a unit of avoirdupois, Troy, and apothecaries' weight equal to 0.0648 gram or 0.002286 avoirdupois ounce or 0.002083 Troy ounce—abbreviation gr

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up grain? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to permeate or influence as if by dyeing

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