plainer, plainest, plains
1) ADJ: usu ADJ n A plain object, surface, or fabric is entirely in one colour and has no pattern, design, or writing on it.

In general, a plain carpet makes a room look bigger...

He placed the paper in a plain envelope...

He wore a plain blue shirt, open at the collar.

2) ADJ-GRADED Something that is plain is very simple in style.

Bronwen's dress was plain but it hung well on her...

It was a plain, grey stone house, distinguished mainly by its largely unspoilt simplicity.

fancy, elaborate
Derived words:
plainly ADV-GRADED ADV -ed

He was very tall and plainly dressed.

3) ADJ-GRADED: usu v-link ADJ, oft it v-link ADJ that If a fact, situation, or statement is plain, it is easy to recognize or understand.
See also plain-spoken

It was plain to him that I was having a nervous breakdown...

He's made it plain that he loves the game and wants to be involved still.

4) ADJ-GRADED If you describe someone as plain, you think they look ordinary and not at all beautiful.

...a shy, rather plain girl with a pale complexion.

5) N-COUNT A plain is a large flat area of land with very few trees on it.

Once there were 70 million buffalo on the plains.

6) ADV: ADV adj (emphasis) You can use plain before an adjective in order to emphasize it.

The food was just plain terrible.

Plain is also used before a noun.

Is it love of publicity or plain stupidity on her part?

7) ADJ: ADJ n-proper (emphasis) You can use plain before a name to emphasize how simple and ordinary it is, especially when you are comparing it with another more unusual or impressive name.

Why couldn't they call you plain Ann or Alice like the rest?

8) PHRASE: v-link PHR, PHR after v If a police officer is in plain clothes, he or she is wearing ordinary clothes instead of a police uniform.
plain sailingsee sailing

Three officers in plain clothes told me to get out of the car.

in uniform

English dictionary. 2008.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • plain — plain …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • plain — plain, aine 1. (plin, plè n ) adj. 1°   Qui est sans inégalités, uni. •   Si le pays est bossu ou plain, couvert de bois ou découvert, VAUBAN. Dîme, p. 223. •   Des cascades dans des lieux plains et sablonneux, J. J. ROUSS. Hél. IV, 11.… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Plain — Plain, a. [Compar. {Plainer}; superl. {Plainest}.] [F., level, flat, fr. L. planus, perhaps akin to E. floor. Cf. {Llano}, {Piano}, {Plan}, {Plane} level, a level surface.] 1. Without elevations or depressions; flat; level; smooth; even. See… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • plain — PLAIN, [pl]aine. adj. Il signifie proprement, Qui est uni, plat, & sans inegalitez: & il reçoit divers sens selon les divers substantifs, ausquels il se joint. Ainsi on dit, qu Une maison est en plain champ, en plaine campagne, pour dire, qu Elle …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • plain — plain1 [plān] adj. [OFr < L planus, flat, level < IE base * plā , broad, flat > FLOOR, FIELD] 1. Obs. flat; level; plane 2. free from obstructions; open; clear [in plain view] 3. clearly understood; evident; obvious [to make one s meani …   English World dictionary

  • plain — adj 1 plane, flat, *level, even, smooth, flush Antonyms: solid 2 clear, distinct, obvious, *evident, manifest, patent, apparent, palpable Analogous words: *clear, lucid, perspicuous: *explicit, express, definite, specific, categorical Antonyms:… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • plain — [adj1] clear, obvious apparent, audible, big as life*, broad, comprehensible, definite, distinct, evident, legible, lucid, manifest, open, open and shut*, palpable, patent, talking turkey*, transparent, understandable, visible; concepts… …   New thesaurus

  • Plain — Plain, n. [Cf. OF. plaigne, F. plaine. See {Plain}, a.] 1. Level land; usually, an open field or a broad stretch of land with an even surface, or a surface little varied by inequalities; as, the plain of Jordan; the American plains, or prairies.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Plain — Plain, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Plained}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Plaining}.] [Cf. {Plane}, v.] 1. To plane or level; to make plain or even on the surface. [R.] [1913 Webster] We would rake Europe rather, plain the East. Wither. [1913 Webster] 2. To make… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Plain — ist der Name folgender Personen: Honest John Plain Maria Plain sowie des Adelsgeschlechts: Grafen von Plain Plain ist ein Ortsname: Plain (Wisconsin) Diese Seite ist eine …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Plain — Plain, adv. In a plain manner; plainly. To speak short and pleyn. Chaucer. To tell you plain. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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