Thesaurus

plain

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of plain

(Entry 1 of 3)

plain

adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms of plain (Entry 2 of 3)

plain

noun

Synonyms of plain (Entry 3 of 3)

1 a broad area of level or rolling treeless country
  • the first settlers in that area lived on the vast plains in lonely log cabins

Synonyms for plain

Words Related to plain

2 a wide space or area
  • the vast plains of snow-covered earth that seemed to stretch endlessly

Synonyms for plain

Words Related to plain

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Frequently Asked Questions About plain

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

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Learn More about plain

Time Traveler for plain

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Plain.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/plain. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on plain

Dictionary: Definition of plain

Nglish: Translation of plain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plain for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about plain

Comments on plain

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