\ 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

The calls were typically grainy, mono, and used a low bitrate, which could be hiding flaws in Duplex's voice. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Talking to Google Duplex: Google’s human-like phone AI feels revolutionary," 27 June 2018 The grainy pictures mark the first confirmed sighting of multiple wolves in this area of the Cascade Mountains since the predators started returning to Oregon earlier this century. Andrew Theen,, "Wolves spotted on trail cameras in Mt. Hood National Forest," 16 Jan. 2018 The baby's face, which is likely distorted by the grainy image quality, looks borderline demonic. Christina Oehler, Woman's Day, "Couple Gets 4D Ultrasound of Their Baby, Find Something Unsettling In Image," 7 Aug. 2015 Mineral sunscreens that contain zinc or titanium are usually more stable, but the formulation can degrade over time, causing separation of ingredients and causing the lotion to become grainy or watery and, therefore, not properly effective. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Does Sunscreen Expire? And Every Other Question You’ve Had About SPF, Answered," 14 May 2019 The display looks great, without any of the grainy blemishes that have plagued some OLED panels in the past. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "OnePlus 6T Review: Amazing value with an even more amazing fingerprint reader," 29 Oct. 2018 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

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

31 May 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

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