Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree
1. Free from obstructions; open; clear: in plain view.
a. Not elaborate or complicated; simple: plain food.
b. Marked by little or no ornamentation or decoration: plain garb.
c. Straightforward; frank or candid: plain talk.
d. Not pretentious; unaffected.
e. Lacking beauty or distinction: a plain face.
4. Not mixed with other substances; pure: plain water.
5. Common in rank or station; average; ordinary: a plain man.
6. Not dyed, twilled, or patterned: a plain fabric.
7. Sheer; utter; unqualified: plain stupidity.
8. Archaic Having no visible elevation or depression; flat; level.
a. often plains An extensive, level, usually treeless area of land.
b. A broad level expanse, as a part of the sea floor or a lunar mare.
2. Something free of ornamentation or extraneous matter.
Clearly; simply: plain stubborn.
These adjectives mean not ornate, ostentatious, or showy: a plain hairstyle; a modest cottage; a simple dark suit; an unpretentious country church.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. flat or smooth; level
2. not complicated; clear: the plain truth.
3. not difficult; simple or easy: a plain task.
4. honest or straightforward
5. lowly, esp in social rank or education
6. without adornment or show: a plain coat.
7. (Textiles) (of fabric) without pattern or of simple untwilled weave
8. not attractive
9. not mixed; simple: plain vodka.
10. (Knitting & Sewing) knitting of or done in plain
11. (Physical Geography) a level or almost level tract of country, esp an extensive treeless region
12. (Knitting & Sewing) a simple stitch in knitting made by putting the right needle into a loop on the left needle, passing the wool round the right needle, and pulling it through the loop, thus forming a new loop
a. the unmarked white ball, as distinguished from the spot balls
b. the player using this ball
14. (Brewing) (in Ireland) short for plain porter, a light porter: two pints of plain, please.
(intensifier): just plain tired.
[C13: from Old French: simple, from Latin plānus level, distinct, clear]
[C14 pleignen, from Old French plaindre to lament, from Latin plangere to beat]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
adj. -er, -est,
adv., n. adj.
1. clear or distinct to the eye or ear: in plain view.
2. clear to the mind; evident: to make one’s meaning plain.
3. easily understood: plain talk.
4. downright; sheer; utter: plain stupidity.
5. free from ambiguity or evasion; candid: the plain truth.
6. without special pretensions; ordinary: plain people.
7. not beautiful; unattractive: a plain face.
8. without intricacies or difficulties.
9. with little or no embellishment or decoration: a plain blue suit.
10. without a pattern, figure, or device: a plain fabric.
11. not rich, highly seasoned, or elaborately prepared, as food.
12. flat or level: plain country.
13. clearly and simply: They’re just plain stupid.
14. an area of land not significantly higher than adjacent areas and with relatively minor differences in elevation, commonly less than 500 ft. (150 m), within the area.
[1250–1300; Middle English < Old French < Latin plānus flat, level, plānum flat country]
Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
1. An extensive, level, usually treeless area of land.
2. A broad, level expanse, such as an area of the sea floor or a lunar mare.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Past participle: plained
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
A large tract of almost level land.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited