plain

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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

Adjective[edit]

a plain bagel

plain (comparative plainer, superlative plainest)

  1. (now rare, regional) Flat, level. [from 14th c.]
    • Bible, Isaiah xl. 4
      The crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.
  2. Simple.
    1. Ordinary; lacking adornment or ornamentation; unembellished. [from 14th c.]
      He was dressed simply in plain black clothes.
      a plain tune
      • 2013 September-October, Henry Petroski, “The Evolution of Eyeglasses”, American Scientist: 
        The ability of a segment of a glass sphere to magnify whatever is placed before it was known around the year 1000, when the spherical segment was called a reading stone, essentially what today we might term a frameless magnifying glass or plain glass paperweight.
    2. Of just one colour; lacking a pattern.
      a plain pink polycotton skirt
    3. Simple in habits or qualities; unsophisticated, not exceptional, ordinary. [from 16th c.]
      They're just plain people like you or me.
    4. (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?
    5. (computing) Containing no extended or nonprinting characters (especially in plain text). [from 20th c.]
  3. Obvious.
    1. Evident to one's senses or reason; manifest, clear, unmistakable. [from 14th c.]
      • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 2, ch. XV, Practical — Devotional
        In fact, by excommunication or persuasion, by impetuosity of driving or adroitness in leading, this Abbot, it is now becoming plain everywhere, is a man that generally remains master at last.
    2. Downright; total, unmistakable (as intensifier). [from 14th c.]
      His answer was just plain nonsense.
  4. Open.
    1. Honest and without deception; candid, open; blunt. [from 14th c.]
      Let me be plain with you: I don't like her.
    2. Clear; unencumbered; equal; fair.
      • Felton
        Our troops beat an army in plain fight.
  5. Not unusually beautiful; unattractive. [from 17th c.]
    Throughout high school she worried that she had a rather plain face.
Synonyms[edit]
Antonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

plain (not comparable)

  1. (colloquial) Simply
    It was just plain stupid.
    I plain forgot.

Etymology 2[edit]

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

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

plain (plural plains)

  1. (rare, poetic) A lamentation.

Verb[edit]

plain (third-person singular simple present plains, present participle plaining, simple past and past participle plained)

  1. (transitive, intransitive, now rare, poetic) To lament, bewail.
    to plain a loss
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir J. Harrington to this entry?)
    • Alfred Edward Housman, More Poems, XXV, lines 5-9
      Then came I crying, and to-day,
      With heavier cause to plain,
      Depart I into death away,
      Not to be born again.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

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

Noun[edit]

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

a plain

plain (plural plains)

  1. An expanse of land with relatively low relief.
    • Milton
      Him the Ammonite / Worshipped in Rabba and her watery plain.
    • 1961, J. A. Philip. Mimesis in the Sophistês of Plato. In: Proceedings and Transactions of the American Philological Association 92. p. 467.
      For Plato the life of the philosopher is a life of struggle towards the goal of knowledge, towards “searching the heavens and measuring the plains, in all places seeking the nature of everything as a whole”
  2. A battlefield.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Arbuthnot to this entry?)
    • Shakespeare
      Lead forth my soldiers to the plain.
  3. (obsolete) A plane.
Synonyms[edit]
Antonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
See also[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

plain (third-person singular simple present plains, present participle plaining, simple past and past participle plained)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To plane or level; to make plain or even on the surface.
    • Wither
      We would rake Europe rather, plain the East.
  2. (obsolete, transitive) To make plain or manifest; to explain.
    • Shakespeare
      What's dumb in show, I'll plain in speech.

Statistics[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Dalmatian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin plēnus. Compare Italian pieno, Romansch plain, Romanian plin, French plein.

Adjective[edit]

plain

  1. full

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin plānus

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

plain m (feminine plaine, masculine plural plains, feminine plural plaines)

  1. (obsolete) plane

Anagrams[edit]


Middle French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin plēnus.

Adjective[edit]

plain m (feminine singular plaine, masculine plural plains, feminine plural plaines)

  1. full (not empty)

Old French[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Latin plēnus.

Adjective[edit]

plain m (feminine plaine)

  1. full (not empty)
Antonyms[edit]
Descendants[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Latin plānum (level ground, a plain), neuter substantive from plānus (level, even, flat).

Noun[edit]

plain m (oblique plural plains, nominative singular plains, nominative plural plain)

  1. plain (flat area)
Synonyms[edit]
Descendants[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Latin plānus (level, even, flat).

Adjective[edit]

plain

  1. flat (not even or mountainous)

Romansch[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin plēnus.

Adjective[edit]

plain m (feminine plaina, masculine plural plains, feminine plural plainas)

  1. (Rumantsch Grischun, Puter, Vallader) full