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).
Idioms about grain
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).
- grainer, noun
- grainless, adjective
- mul·ti·grain, noun, adjective
- non·grain, noun
- su·per·grain, noun
- un·der·grain·ing, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use grain in a sentence
Sugar, honey, and salt will never need them, but grain, powdered milk, and other foods will definitely need them.How to stock your pantry to endure a long, uncertain winter | By Tim MacWelch/Outdoor Life | November 9, 2020 | Popular-Science
Starting in the 1980s it began to attract attention as a healthy traditional grain, and benefited from extensive research and marketing.New Veggies for a Warming Planet - Issue 92: Frontiers | Viviane Callier | November 4, 2020 | Nautilus
Now I don’t have any serious study behind this claim, so take this with a grain of salt.Google’s featured snippets: How to get your YouTube video featured in Google | Ann Smarty | October 28, 2020 | Search Engine Watch
If you eat fruit, vegetables, grains or potatoes, thank a plant too.
It’s not easy going against the grain in a small community, but it’s not really new to our family.I Own a Coffee Shop in a Small Town. We’re the Only Business That Requires Masks. | Trisha Larson | October 16, 2020 | Eater
British Dictionary definitions for grain
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 particle: a grain of sand
the general direction or arrangement of the fibrous elements in paper or wood: to saw across the grain
the pattern or texture of wood resulting from such an arrangement: the attractive grain of the table
the relative size of the particles of a substance: sugar 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 gram: Abbreviation: 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 crystallization: to boil syrup to the grain
a very small amount: a 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)
- grainer, noun
- grainless, adjective
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
Scientific definitions for grain
A small particle of something, such as salt, pollen, or sand.
A unit of weight in the US Customary System, equal to 21000 of an ounce (0.07 gram). See Table at measurement.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with grain
see against the grain; with a grain of salt.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.