- an iron instrument with barbed prongs, for spearing or harpooning fish.
Origin of grains
- a small, hard seed, especially the seed of a food plant such as wheat, corn, rye, oats, rice, or millet.
- the gathered seed of food plants, especially of cereal plants.
- such plants collectively.
- any small, hard particle, as of sand, gold, pepper, or gunpowder.
- the smallest unit of weight in most systems, originally determined by the weight of a plump grain of wheat. In the U.S. and British systems, as in avoirdupois, troy, and apothecaries' weights, the grain is identical. In an avoirdupois ounce there are 437.5 grains; in the troy and apothecaries' ounces there are 480 grains (one grain equals 0.0648 gram).
- the smallest possible amount of anything: a grain of truth.
- the arrangement or direction of fibers in wood, or the pattern resulting from this.
- the direction in which the fibers of a piece of dressed wood, as a board, rise to the surface: You should work with or across the grain, but never against.
- the side of leather from which the hair has been removed.
- a stamped pattern that imitates the natural grain of leather: used either on leather to simulate a different type of natural leather, or on coated cloth.
- the fibers or yarn in a piece of fabric as differentiated from the fabric itself.
- the direction of threads in a woven fabric in relation to the selvage.
- the lamination or cleavage of stone, coal, etc.
- Metallurgy. any of the individual crystalline particles forming a metal.
- Jewelry. a unit of weight equal to 50 milligrams or ¼ carat, used for pearls and sometimes for diamonds.
- the size of constituent particles of any substance; texture: sugar of fine grain.
- a granular texture or appearance: a stone of coarse grain.
- a state of crystallization: boiled to the grain.
- temper or natural character: two brothers of similar grain.
- Rocketry. a unit of solid propellant.
- Obsolete. color or hue.
- to form into grains; granulate.
- to give a granular appearance to.
- to paint in imitation of the grain of wood, stone, etc.: metal doors grained to resemble oak.
- to feed grain to (an animal).
- to remove the hair from (skins).
- to soften and raise the grain of (leather).
- against the/one's grain, in opposition to one's temper, inclination, or character: Haggling always went against her grain.
- with a grain of salt. salt1(def 24).
Origin of grain
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for grains
Baijiu is a general Chinese term for spirits made from grains.The Most Powerful Liquor in the World
August 24, 2014
From there, you can reintroduce some of the “grey area” foods like dairy and grains to see how you tolerate them.In Defense of the Paleo Diet
Chris Kresser, M.S., L.AC.
January 16, 2014
All grains produce lectins, which selectively bind to unique proteins on the surfaces of bacteria, fungi, and insects.Wheat Threatens All Humans, New Research Shows
David Perlmutter, MD
December 10, 2013
All things considered, lower levels of U.S. economic activity tend to lead to lower demand for grains, steel, and oil.Shutdown? What Shutdown? It’s Time to Buy U.S. Government Bonds!
September 23, 2013
And most American exports consist of goods like grains, or cherries, or electric turbines, or airplanes.Give Me Your Studious: American Universities Are Prolific Exporters
August 22, 2013
The malting of grains, it will be remembered, is explained in Cereals.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
No grains are crushed or damaged by the feet or shovels of workmen.
Brewers' grains are the residue of barley malt and corn grits.Government by the Brewers?
Do not use a spoon, as that will not loosen the grains sufficiently.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
With grains that feed the Cannon's breath, And boom his sentences of death!
- the small hard seedlike fruit of a grass, esp a cereal plant
- a mass of such fruits, esp when gathered for food
- the plants, collectively, from which such fruits are harvested
- a small hard particlea grain of sand
- the general direction or arrangement of the fibrous elements in paper or woodto saw across the grain
- the pattern or texture of wood resulting from such an arrangementthe attractive grain of the table
- the relative size of the particles of a substancesugar of fine grain
- the granular texture of a rock, mineral, etc
- the appearance of a rock, mineral, etc, determined by the size and arrangement of its constituents
- the outer (hair-side) layer of a hide or skin from which the hair or wool has been removed
- the pattern on the outer surface of such a hide or skin
- a surface artificially imitating the grain of wood, leather, stone, etc; graining
- the smallest unit of weight in the avoirdupois, Troy, and apothecaries' systems, based on the average weight of a grain of wheat: in the avoirdupois system it equals 1/7000 of a pound, and in the Troy and apothecaries' systems it equals 1/5760 of a pound. 1 grain is equal to 0.0648 gramAbbreviation: gr
- Also called: metric grain a metric unit of weight used for pearls or diamonds, equal to 50 milligrams or one quarter of a carat
- the threads or direction of threads in a woven fabric
- photog any of a large number of particles in a photographic emulsion, the size of which limit the extent to which an image can be enlarged without serious loss of definition
- television a granular effect in a television picture caused by electrical noise
- cleavage lines in crystalline material, parallel to growth planes
- chem any of a large number of small crystals forming a polycrystalline solid, each having a regular array of atoms that differs in orientation from that of the surrounding crystallites
- a state of crystallizationto boil syrup to the grain
- a very small amounta grain of truth
- natural disposition, inclination, or character (esp in the phrase go against the grain)
- astronautics a homogenous mass of solid propellant in a form designed to give the required combustion characteristics for a particular rocket
- (not in technical usage) kermes or a red dye made from this insect
- dyeing an obsolete word for colour
- with a grain of salt or with a pinch of salt without wholly believing: sceptically
- (also intr) to form grains or cause to form into grains; granulate; crystallize
- to give a granular or roughened appearance or texture to
- to paint, stain, etc, in imitation of the grain of wood or leather
- to remove the hair or wool from (a hide or skin) before tanning
- to raise the grain pattern on (leather)
Word Origin and History for grains
early 13c., "scarlet dye made from insects" (late 12c. in surnames), from Old French grain (12c.) "seed, grain, particle, berry, scarlet dye" (see kermes for last sense), from Latin granum "seed, a grain, small kernel" (see corn (n.1)).
As a collective singular meaning "seed of wheat and allied grasses used as food," it is attested from early 14c. Extended from c.1300 to other objects (e.g. salt, sand). As a unit of weight, from 1540s. Used of wood (1560s), from the arrangement of fibers, which resemble seeds. Hence, against the grain (1650), a metaphor from carpentry: cutting across the fibers of the wood is more difficult than cutting along them.
- A small, dry, one-seeded fruit of a cereal grass, having the fruit and the seed walls united.
- The fruits of cereal grasses especially after having been harvested, considered as a group.
- A relatively small discrete particulate or crystalline mass.
- A unit of weight in the US Customary System, an avoirdupois unit equal to 0.002286 ounce (0.065 gram).