adjective, plain·er, plain·est.
Origin of plain1
Synonyms for plain
Antonyms for plain
verb (used without object) British Dialect.
Origin of plain2
Related Words for plaintransparent, honest, simple, traditional, ordinary, conventional, dull, unvarnished, austere, stark, pure, meadow, expanse, field, prairie, steppe, grassland, plateau, patent, broad
Examples from the Web for plain
Contemporary Examples of plain
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
December 29, 2014
Thanks to the Atlanta case, they can now see another in plain sight.A Gift to the Jihadis: The Unseen Airport Security Threat
December 27, 2014
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
December 19, 2014
It is already well known that there are oilrigs disguised in plain sight all over the city.The Fiery Underground Oil Pit Eating L.A.
December 6, 2014
The results of that rash decision, the most dire of which has been the rise of ISIS, are now plain for us to see.‘America in Retreat’: Why Neo-Isolationism Exploded Under Obama and What We Can Do About It
December 1, 2014
Historical Examples of plain
The track was plain enough, and there were hamlets at long intervals.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
A plain case, that he had left his curiosity with me, and designed to shew me no other.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
Aye, lad, and the plain things are always the hardest things to do.Way of the Lawless
It's a shirt and a plain stocking were got off a drowned man in Donegal.Riders to the Sea
J. M. Synge
One thing is plain, you must either go to them, or unlock the cellar-door.Weighed and Wanting
- the unmarked white ball, as distinguished from the spot balls
- the player using this ball
Word Origin for plain
Word Origin for plain
c.1300, "flat, smooth," from Old French plain "flat, smooth, even" (12c.), from Latin planus "flat, even, level" (see plane (n.1)). Sense of "evident" is from, c.1300; that of "free from obstruction" is early 14c.; meaning "simple, sincere, ordinary" is recorded from late 14c., especially of dress, "unembellished, without decoration."
In reference to the dress and speech of Quakers, it is recorded from 1824; of Amish and Mennonites, from 1894 (in the Dutch regions of Pennsylvania Plain with the capital is shorthand adjective for "Amish and Old Order Mennonite"). Of appearance, as a euphemism for "ill-favored, ugly" it dates from 1749. Of envelopes from 1913. As an adverb from early 14c. Plain English is from c.1500. Plain dealer "one who deals plainly or speaks candidly" is from 1570s, marked "Now rare" in OED 2nd edition. To be as plain as the nose on (one's) face is from 1690s.
"level country," c.1300 (in reference to Salisbury Plain), from Old French plain "open countryside," from Latin planum "level ground, plain," noun use of neuter of planus (adj.) "flat, even, level" (see plane (n.1)). Latin planum was used for "level ground" but much more common was campus.
In addition to the idioms beginning with plain
- plain as day
- plain sailing
- in plain English