See more synonyms for grainy on
adjective, grain·i·er, grain·i·est.
  1. resembling grain; granular.
  2. full of grains or grain.
  3. having a natural or simulated grain, as wood, wallpaper, etc.
  4. Photography. (of a negative or positive) having a granular appearance.

Origin of grainy

First recorded in 1605–15; grain + -y1
Related formsgrain·i·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for grainy


adjective grainier or grainiest
  1. resembling, full of, or composed of grain; granular
  2. resembling the grain of wood, leather, etc
  3. photog having poor definition because of large grain size
Derived Formsgraininess, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for grainy

1610s, from grain + -y (2). In Middle English, grain also was used as an adjective, "like grain, lumpy, spotted" (early 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper