Plain definition

plān
Not figured, dyed, or twilled.

Plain cloth.

adjective
10
1
Clearly understood; evident; obvious.

To make one's meaning plain.

adjective
18
10
Not complicated; simple.

Plain sewing.

adjective
9
1
Pure; unmixed.

Plain soda.

adjective
9
2
Neither good-looking nor ugly.

A well-dressed woman with a rather plain face.

adjective
8
1
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An extensive, level, usually treeless area of land.
noun
4
0
Clearly or simply.

Just plain tired.

adverb
4
0
Sheer; utter; unqualified.

Plain stupidity.

adjective
14
11
Not luxurious or ornate; unembellished.

A plain coat.

adjective
6
3
Straightforward; frank or candid.

Plain talk.

adjective
3
0
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Something free of ornamentation or extraneous matter.
noun
3
0
Outspoken; frank; straightforward.

Plain talk.

adjective
3
0
An extent of relatively level country with few trees; prairie, steppe, etc.
noun
3
0
Marked by little or no ornamentation or decoration.

Plain garb.

adjective
2
0
Not pretentious; unaffected.
adjective
2
0
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Lacking beauty or distinction.

A plain face.

adjective
2
0
A broad level expanse, as a part of the sea floor or a lunar mare.
noun
2
0
Not of high rank or position; such as characterizes the common people; ordinary.

A plain man.

adjective
2
0
Downright; thoroughgoing.

Plain nonsense.

adjective
2
0
(now chiefly dial.) To complain.
verb
2
0
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An extensive, relatively level area of land. Plains are present on all continents except Antarctica and are most often located in the interior regions. Because they can occur at almost any altitude or latitude, plains can be humid and forested, semiarid and grass-covered, or arid.
2
0
A broad, level expanse, such as an area of the sea floor or a lunar mare.
2
0
(now rare, regional) Flat, level. [from 14th c.]
adjective
2
0
Simple.
  • Ordinary; lacking adornment or ornamentation; unembellished. [from 14th c.]
    He was dressed simply in plain black clothes.
    A plain tune.
  • Of just one colour; lacking a pattern.
    A plain pink polycotton skirt.
  • Simple in habits or qualities; unsophisticated, not exceptional, ordinary. [from 16th c.]
    They're just plain people like you or me.
  • (of food) Having only few ingredients, or no additional ingredients or seasonings; not elaborate, without toppings or extras. [from 17th c.]
    Would you like a poppy bagel or a plain bagel?.
  • (computing) Containing no extended or nonprinting characters (especially in plain text). [from 20th c.]
adjective
2
0
adjective
2
0
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Free from obstructions; open; clear.

In plain view.

adjective
10
9
Free from obstructions; open; clear.

In plain view.

adjective
3
2
Not dyed, twilled, or patterned.

A plain fabric.

adjective
2
1
  • Honest and without deception; candid, open; blunt. [from 14th c.]
    Let me be plain with you: I don't like her.
  • Clear; unencumbered; equal; fair.
adjective
2
1
(archaic) Having no visible elevation or depression; flat; level.
adjective
1
0
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Not elaborate or complicated; simple.

Plain food.

adjective
1
0
Not unusually beautiful; unattractive. [from 17th c.]

Throughout high school she worried that she had a rather plain face.

adjective
1
0
(colloquial) Simply.

It was just plain stupid.

I plain forgot.

adverb
1
0
(rare, poetic) A lamentation.
noun
1
0
(intransitive, now rare, poetic) To lament, bewail.

To plain a loss.

verb
1
0
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An expanse of land with relatively low relief.
noun
1
0
noun
1
0
(obsolete) To plane or level; to make plain or even on the surface.
verb
1
0
(obsolete) To make plain or manifest; to explain.
verb
1
0
Clearly; simply.

Plain stubborn.

adverb
10
10
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(obs.) Flat; level; plane.
adjective
10
10
Obvious to the perception or mind; evident.

Make one's intention plain.

adjective
2
2
Common in rank or station; average; ordinary.

A plain man.

adjective
2
2
The definition of plain is clearly understood, obvious, simple or not complicated.

An example of plain is using basic language to describe something.

An example of plain is unflavored yogurt.

An example of plain is a woman without make-up.

adjective
1
1
Not mixed with other substances; pure.

Plain water.

adjective
2
3
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
plain
Plural:
Plains

Adjective

Base Form:
plain
Comparative:
plainer
Superlative:
plainest

Origin of plain

  • Middle English from Old French from Latin plānus pelə-2 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Anglo-Norman plainer, pleiner, variant of Anglo-Norman and Old French pleindre, plaindre, from Latin plangere, present active infinitive of plangō.

    From Wiktionary

  • From Anglo-Norman pleyn, playn, Middle French plain, plein, from Latin plānus (“flat, even, level, plain").

    From Wiktionary

  • From Old French plain, from Latin plānum (“level ground, a plain"), neuter substantive from plānus (“level, even, flat").

    From Wiktionary