adjective, plain·er, plain·est.
- plaid cymru,
- plain as day,
- plain bearing,
- plain chocolate,
- plain clothes,
- plain dealing
Origin of plain1
Examples from the Web for plainness
It demands reason, consistency and plainness; and yields assent only where they are found.Lectures on Language|William S. Balch
A child may be made unhappy and timid by ugly clothes, but plainness need not mean ugliness.Textiles and Clothing|Kate Heintz Watson
Reduced to plainness, it meant that King had died of an injury to the head.Johnny Ludlow, Second Series|Mrs. Henry Wood
If you mean the plainness of my person, I think your ladyship's as plain as me to the full.The Recruiting Officer|George Farquhar
Surely their testimony lacks nothing to be desired either as to directness or plainness.The Gospel: An Exposition of its First Principles|Brigham Henry Roberts
- 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