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