\ ˈgrān How to pronounce grain (audio) \

Definition of grain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(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 (such as the soybean)
c : plants producing grain
2a(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
3a : 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
4a : a granulated surface or appearance
b : the outer or hair side of a skin or hide
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 Weights and Measures Table
6a : 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 : tactile quality
8a : natural disposition : temper lying goes against my grain
b : a basic or characteristic quality
c : a prevalent ideology or convention teaching against the grain


grained; graining; grains

Definition of grain (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : ingrain
2 : to form into grains : granulate
3 : to paint in imitation of the grain of wood or stone
4 : to feed with grain

intransitive verb

: to become granular : granulate

Other Words from grain


grained \ ˈgrānd How to pronounce grain (audio) \ adjective
grainless adjective


grainer noun

Examples of grain in a Sentence

Noun bread made from whole wheat grain The machine grinds grain into flour. The farm grows a variety of grains. Anyone with a grain of sense knows that she's lying. There is not a grain of truth in what he said.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The deals also allow Russia to export grain and fertilizer. Zeynep Bilginsoy,, 5 Aug. 2022 Barges were used to haul coal, grain and heavy goods from village to village. Dan Fellner, The Arizona Republic, 4 Aug. 2022 Russia will be allowed to export grain and fertilizer. Celina Tebor, USA TODAY, 4 Aug. 2022 Twelve sold 200,000 cases in its first year on the market and features a blend of Ireland's finest golden grain and single malt whiskey. Sonal Dutt, Peoplemag, 4 Aug. 2022 The agency, roughly a sixth the size of the SEC, already is tasked with overseeing a swath of financial markets, from grain and oil futures to more complex products. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, 3 Aug. 2022 The deals also allow Russia to exports grain and fertilizers. Lorraine Taylor, Fox News, 1 Aug. 2022 Ministers from the two countries originally reached agreements with Turkey and the United Nations in Istanbul on July 22, requiring Russia to unblock Ukraine's Black Sea ports and allowing Russia to export grain and fertilizer. Grayson Quay, The Week, 1 Aug. 2022 The deals also allow Russia to export grain and fertilizer. Susie Blann And Suzan Fraser, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb White Ash features more subtle graining while Black Ash has a dark grain that contrasts with its light background. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, 13 Mar. 2020 The cereal grains mixed with clover attract deer first while the brassicas stand tall and are accessible above snow in northern areas for late-season forage. Gerald Almy, Field & Stream, 14 Feb. 2020 Microphenomena, such as tornadoes, may be missed because models are not sufficiently fine-grained. The Economist, 17 Sep. 2019 Each one would resemble the (A) to (E) outline above, but would be much more finely grained. Quanta Magazine, 3 June 2019 The surface appears to be very, very fine-grained. . . . Charles Bethea, The New Yorker, 25 May 2018 Within 15 minutes, a portion of this radioactive dust — mostly grains the size of salt or sand — would begin to fall directly on the city. Daily Intelligencer, 12 June 2018 The raw flesh of the fish is opalescent, fine-grained and smooth and nearly translucent, with a flavor to match. Ben Lowy, Smithsonian, 23 May 2018 As in other full-size pickups at this price, the dashboard is largely made up of hard plastics, although their graining looks nice and most critical touch points inside the F-150 are made from softer materials. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, 9 Mar. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grain.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of grain


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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The first known use of grain was in the 14th century

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grain alcohol

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Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Grain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for grain


\ ˈgrān How to pronounce grain (audio) \

Kids Definition of grain

1 : the edible seed or seeds of some grasses (as wheat, corn, or oats) or a few other plants (as buckwheat)
2 : plants that produce grain
3 : a small hard particle a grain of sand
4 : a tiny amount a grain of truth
5 : a unit of weight equal to 0.0648 gram
6 : the arrangement of fibers in wood

Other Words from grain

grained \ ˈgrānd \ adjective


\ ˈgrān How to pronounce grain (audio) \

Medical Definition of grain

1a : a seed or fruit of a cereal grass
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 : a small hard particle or crystal (as of sand or salt)
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

More from Merriam-Webster on grain

Nglish: Translation of grain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grain for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about grain


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