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plain

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adverb

plain

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noun

Synonym Chooser

How is the word plain distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of plain are candid, frank, and open. While all these words mean "showing willingness to tell what one feels or thinks," plain suggests outspokenness and freedom from affectation or subtlety in expression.

plain talk

When could candid be used to replace plain?

Although the words candid and plain have much in common, candid suggests expression marked by sincerity and honesty especially in offering unwelcome criticism or opinion.

a candid appraisal

When might frank be a better fit than plain?

In some situations, the words frank and plain are roughly equivalent. However, frank stresses lack of shyness or secretiveness or of evasiveness from considerations of tact or expedience.

frank discussions

How does the word open relate to other synonyms for plain?

Open implies frankness but suggests more indiscretion than frank and less earnestness than candid.

open in saying what they think

Thesaurus Entries Near plain

Cite this Entry

“Plain.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/plain. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

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