Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[pleyn-vuh-nil-uh] /ˈpleɪn vəˈnɪl ə/
adjective, Informal.
having no embellishments, extra equipment, elaborate packaging, etc.; plain; simple; down-to-earth:
I want a plain-vanilla car without a lot of chrome trim.
Origin of plain-vanilla
in allusion to vanilla ice cream, taken to be the most basic flavor Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for plain vanilla
Historical Examples
  • “I think I shall have plain vanilla,” added Aunt Betty, laughing.

    Dorothy's Tour Evelyn Raymond
  • "A plain vanilla—please rush it along," commanded the stranger.

    The Daughter of Anderson Crow

    George Barr McCutcheon
  • For ice cream have a boat of plain vanilla filled with luscious fresh strawberries.

    Dinners and Luncheons Paul Pierce
Slang definitions & phrases for plain vanilla

plain vanilla

adjective phrase

Unadorned; simple; basic: more lushly appointed variants of plain vanilla family cars are due to arrive

[1970s+; fr vanilla ice cream, considered less fancy than other flavors]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for plain vanilla

Word Value for plain

Scrabble Words With Friends