grain

noun
\ ˈgrān \

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

grain

verb
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

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Other Words from grain

Noun

grained \ ˈgrānd \ adjective
grainless adjective

Verb

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Strong grain shipping pushed cargo volume on the St. Lawrence Seaway up 7% last year to the highest level since 2007. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Today’s Logistics Report: Rerouting for Brexit; Reeling Smartphone Suppliers; Braking Robot Cars," 18 Jan. 2019 Eat more veggies, fruit, seafood, and whole grains; prioritize good-for-you unsaturated fats; and think inclusive versus exclusive. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Keto Diet Pills and Supplements May Hurt Your Health and Waste Your Money," 16 Jan. 2019 Wood tones and grain finishes vary depending on which kit you purchase, including Black Walnut, English Oak, Red Oak, Royal Mahogany, and Honey Oak. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "These Wood Look Paint Kits Will Step Up Your Garage Door Game," 19 Nov. 2018 Compared to the bedrock in the area, the grains contain extra iron, nickel, and other elements associated with iron meteorites. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Huge, previously unknown impact crater found beneath Greenland’s ice," 18 Nov. 2018 The chemistry of the sediment grains hints at what kind of object created the crater. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Huge, previously unknown impact crater found beneath Greenland’s ice," 18 Nov. 2018 The chair is comprised of three molded plywood shells consisting of multiple layers of plywood with a top veneer layer of striking wood grain. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "This Is What Makes The Eames Lounge Chair So Special," 7 Nov. 2018 Slice against the grain to keep the jerky less chewy. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Make Homemade Beef Jerky," 3 Dec. 2018 On a table covered in peeling wood grain paper, this woman laid out a delicious assortment: a little Cartier Tank and a Chanel J12 wristwatch in white or black ceramic, placed gingerly onto a roll of black velvet. Monica Kim, Vogue, "Is It Real—And Does It Matter? How Korea’s Counterfeit Culture Shaped My Style," 27 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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, "This Is What a Nuclear Bomb Looks Like," 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, "The Lionfish Have Invaded, But a Ragtag Army of Divers and Chefs Are Fighting Back," 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, "2018 Ford F-150 2.7L EcoBoost V-6 4x2 SuperCrew," 9 Mar. 2018 Very few interior panels are soft to the touch, but the vast expanses of hard plastic are nicely grained and don’t feel cheap. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, "2018 Hyundai Accent," 24 Jan. 2018 The official data were not fine-grained enough to reveal such patterns. The Economist, "Punk scienceDo-it-yourself Science is taking off," 16 Dec. 2017 Because there were, on average, 20 routers in each station in the pilot, London’s data are quite fine-grained. Henry Grabar, Slate Magazine, "A brilliant experiment is helping the London subway find out how people really travel.," 16 Oct. 2017 That said, his big, coarse-grained, penetrating sound carried forcefully to the back of the house. John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, "Vocal sparks fly in Lyric Opera's riveting 'Rigoletto'," 8 Oct. 2017 Interior Features A simple dashboard is dressed up nicely with finely grained, soft-touch plastics and, on the Ultimate trim, open-pore wood veneer that looks upscale—although some materials aren’t as nice as those in rival luxury sedans. Michael Simari, Car and Driver, "2018 Genesis G80," 3 Aug. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of grain

Noun

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

Verb

1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for grain

Noun

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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Statistics for grain

Last Updated

23 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grain

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

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More Definitions for grain

grain

noun

English Language Learners 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

grain

noun
\ ˈgrān \

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

grain

noun
\ ˈgrān \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on grain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grain

Spanish Central: Translation of grain

Nglish: Translation of grain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grain for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about grain

Comments on grain

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