\ ˈgrā-nē How to pronounce grainy (audio) \
grainier; grainiest

Definition of grainy

1 : resembling or having some characteristic of grain : not smooth or fine
2 of a photograph : appearing to be composed of grain-like particles

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Other Words from grainy

graininess noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for grainy


coarse, grained, granular, granulated


dusty, fine, floury, powdery, superfine, ultrafine

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Examples of grainy in a Sentence

The mustard has a grainy texture. grainy sand kept it off the rankings as one of the nation's best beaches

Recent Examples on the Web

There are some paparazzi moments, too, such as grainy images of her doing everyday tasks, like hailing a cab in a black top and carpenter jeans. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "For Rare Images of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, Follow This Tribute Instagram," 26 Dec. 2018 If rumors/grainy fan video taken surreptitiously are true, Hannah's filmed her intro package and initial interview with host Chris Harrison. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "When Will 'The Bachelorette' Film In 2019? You Won't Wait Long," 12 Mar. 2019 Their biggest piece of evidence—a grainy video showing two shadowy figures on a city sidewalk—seemed like a slim lead. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "Police Say Smollett Faked Hate Crime Because He Was Dissatisfied With His Salary," 21 Feb. 2019 With slicked-back grey hair and a frail frame, Salemme is almost unrecognizable from the bulky mob boss depicted in grainy surveillance photos from his heyday. Fox News, "Ex-Mafia boss 'Cadillac Frank' sentenced to life in prison," 13 Sep. 2018 It looks sped up, weird, grainy, out of focus, splices, scratches. Eric Johnson, Recode, "How Peter Jackson’s team made World War I footage look new," 15 Dec. 2018 The brewers then served the resulting beer—which was a bit sour, a bit grainy, a bit starchy—as a limited-edition seasonal brew. Kate Springer, Condé Nast Traveler, "Inside Hong Kong's Craft Beer Revolution," 17 Aug. 2018 The Soviet Luna 3 mission took the first, grainy photographs of the far side of the Moon in 1959, and in 1962, NASA's Ranger spacecraft impacted the surface. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Here’s why China’s launch to the far side of the Moon is a big deal," 10 Dec. 2018 He was shot down and was rescued by a submarine, a rescue captured in what became a famous bit of grainy film footage. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "George H.W. Bush, America’s 41st President and Father of 43rd, Dies," 1 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grainy.' 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 grainy

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for grainy

Last Updated

5 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for grainy

The first known use of grainy was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of grainy

: not smooth or fine
of a photograph : not clear or sharp because of having a picture formed from many dots that are large enough to be seen

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More from Merriam-Webster on grainy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grainy

Spanish Central: Translation of grainy

Nglish: Translation of grainy for Spanish Speakers

Comments on grainy

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


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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