clear or distinct to the eye or ear: a plain trail to the river;to stand in plain view.
clear to the mind; evident, manifest, or obvious: to make one's meaning plain.
conveying the meaning clearly and simply; easily understood: plain talk.
without special pretensions, superiority, elegance, etc.; ordinary: plain people.
not beautiful; physically unattractive or undistinguished: a plain face.
without intricacies or difficulties.
ordinary, simple, or unostentatious: Although she was a duchess, her manners were attractively plain.
with little or no embellishment, decoration, or enhancing elaboration: a plain blue suit.
without a pattern, figure, or device: a plain fabric.
not rich, highly seasoned, or elaborately prepared, as food: a plain diet.
flat or level: plain country.
unobstructed, clear, or open, as ground, a space, etc.
Cards. being other than a face card or a trump.
clearly and simply: He's just plain stupid.
an area of land not significantly higher than adjacent areas and with relatively minor differences in elevation, commonly less than 500 feet (150 meters), within the area.
The Plains. Great Plains.
Idioms about plain
- plain·ly, adverb
- plain·ness, noun
Other definitions for plain (2 of 2)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use plain in a sentence
These microbes had been living beneath a vast, flat, sediment-covered plain.Some deep-seafloor microbes still alive after 100 million years! | Carolyn Gramling | September 1, 2020 | Science News For Students
If I’m rolling into a Starbucks, in plain sight of lots of foot traffic, and the rack’s right out front, my odds are decent this is enough deterrent to ward off the baddies.
One of the main challenges in curing cancer is that unlike foreign invaders, tumor cells are part of the body and so able to hide in plain sight.Scientists Used Protein Switches to Turn T-Cells Into Cancer-Fighting Guided Missiles | Edd Gent | August 24, 2020 | Singularity Hub
In the US, for instance, the Food and Drug Administration approved chloroquine for treating covid-19, only to reverse itself weeks later after it became plain the drug didn’t work.Every country wants a covid-19 vaccine. Who will get it first? | Katie McLean | August 13, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
Researchers, led by microbiologist Yuki Morono of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology in Kochi, examined sediments collected in 2010 from part of the abyssal plain beneath the South Pacific Gyre.These ancient seafloor microbes woke up after over 100 million years | Carolyn Gramling | July 28, 2020 | Science News
Yet, much like the fate that fell the first season, ratings just plain weren't good.‘The Comeback’ Finale: Give Lisa Kudrow All of the Awards | Kevin Fallon | December 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Thanks to the Atlanta case, they can now see another in plain sight.A Gift to the Jihadis: The Unseen Airport Security Threat | Clive Irving | December 27, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Because holy hell was that bland, unfunny, uncomfortable, and just plain confusing.The Biggest Bombs of 2014: ‘Sex Tape,’ Mariah Carey’s Vocals, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and More | Kevin Fallon | December 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It is already well known that there are oilrigs disguised in plain sight all over the city.
A report by the Cleveland plain Dealer describes balloons being released into the night sky.The Cleveland Cops Who Fired 137 Shots and Cried Victim | Michael Daly | December 2, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But what a magnificent plain is this we are entering upon: it is of immense extent.
A far-off volley rumbled over the plain, and a few birds stirred uneasily among the trees.The Red Year | Louis Tracy
There are many more good dwellings on this plain than in the rural portion of Lower Italy.Glances at Europe | Horace Greeley
The word of the law shall be fulfilled without a lie, and wisdom shall be made plain in the mouth of the faithful.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version | Various
Here there is no question of emergency, or enemy pressure, or of haste; so much we see plain enough with our own eyes.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
British Dictionary definitions for plain (1 of 2)
flat or smooth; level
not complicated; clear: the plain truth
not difficult; simple or easy: a plain task
honest or straightforward
lowly, esp in social rank or education
without adornment or show: a plain coat
(of fabric) without pattern or of simple untwilled weave
not mixed; simple: plain vodka
knitting of or done in plain
a level or almost level tract of country, esp an extensive treeless region
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
the unmarked white ball, as distinguished from the spot balls
the player using this ball
(in Ireland) short for plain porter, a light porter: two pints of plain, please
(intensifier): just plain tired
- See also plains
- plainly, adverb
- plainness, noun
British Dictionary definitions for plain (2 of 2)
a dialect or poetic word for complain
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 plain
An extensive, relatively level area of land. Plains are present on all continents except Antarctica and are most often located in the interior regions. Because they can occur at almost any altitude or latitude, plains can be humid and forested, semiarid and grass-covered, or arid.
A broad, level expanse, such as an area of the sea floor or a lunar mare.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with plain
In addition to the idioms beginning with plain
- plain as day
- plain sailing
- in plain English
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.