plain


1plain

intransitive verb \ˈplān\

Definition of PLAIN

archaic
:  complain

Origin of PLAIN

Middle English, from Anglo-French pleindre, plaindre, from Latin plangere to lament — more at plaint
First Known Use: 14th century

2plain

noun

: a large area of flat land without trees

Full Definition of PLAIN

1
a :  an extensive area of level or rolling treeless country
b :  a broad unbroken expanse
2
:  something free from artifice, ornament, or extraneous matter

Examples of PLAIN

  1. the Great Plains of the United States
  2. <the first settlers in that area lived on the vast plains in lonely log cabins>

Origin of PLAIN

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin planum, from neuter of planus flat, plain — more at floor
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Geology Terms

anthracite, boulder, cwm, erratic, igneous, intrusive, mesa, sedimentary, silt, swale

3plain

adjective

: having no pattern or decoration

: not having any added or extra things

: easy to see or understand

Full Definition of PLAIN

1
archaic :  even, level
2
:  lacking ornament :  undecorated
3
:  free of extraneous matter :  pure
4
:  free of impediments to view :  unobstructed
5
a (1) :  evident to the mind or senses :  obvious <it's perfectly plain that they will resist> (2) :  clear <let me make my meaning plain>
b :  marked by outspoken candor :  free from duplicity or subtlety :  blunt <plain talk>
6
a :  belonging to the masses :  common
b :  lacking special distinction or affectation :  ordinary
7
:  characterized by simplicity :  not complicated <plain home-cooked meals>
8
:  lacking beauty or ugliness
plain·ly adverb
plain·ness \ˈplān-nəs\ noun

Examples of PLAIN

  1. It was a plain room with no curtains.
  2. She was wearing plain black shoes.
  3. He printed the picture on plain paper.
  4. a piece of plain chicken
  5. You don't have to call me Mr. Johnson—just plain Fred will be fine.
  6. What he said is a lie, plain and simple.

First Known Use of PLAIN

14th century

4plain

adverb

Definition of PLAIN

:  in a plain manner :  without obscurity or ambiguity <saw them clearly and told you plainAmerican Documentation>

First Known Use of PLAIN

14th century

5plain

adverb

Definition of PLAIN

:  absolutely 1 <plain wrong>

Origin of PLAIN

partly from Middle English plein entire, complete, from Anglo-French, full, from Latin plenus; partly from 4plain — more at full
First Known Use: 1535

plain

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any relatively level area of the Earth's surface that exhibits gentle slopes and small local relief (differences in elevation). Occupying slightly more than one-third of the terrestrial surface, plains are found on all continents except Antarctica. Some are tree-covered, and others are grassy. Still others support scrub brush and bunch grass, and a few are nearly waterless deserts. With certain exceptions, plains have become the sites of major centres of population, industry, commerce, and transportation.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: plain base
Previous Word in the Dictionary: plaik
All Words Near: plain

Seen & Heard

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

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More