I UK [pleɪn] / US adjective
Word forms "plain":
adjective plain comparative plainer superlative plainest
1) easily seen or understood

Hugh's message was short, but the meaning was plain enough.

it is plain (that):

It was plain that they knew each other already.

it is plain to someone (that):

It was plain to everyone that Maude was not happy.

make it plain:

Therese made it plain that she would not help Robert any more.

be plain to see:

Her disappointment was plain to see.

2) simple in design, with no decoration

a plain wooden table

The gardens were fairly plain, with few plants.

a plain white T-shirt

We sell a selection of plain and patterned ties.

a) plain food is simple and does not have a lot of things added to it

a plain sponge cake

plain yoghurt

The restaurant serves plain wholesome food.

b) not very attractive

He seems to go for plain quiet women.

c) [only before noun] used before a name for saying that someone does not have a special title or name

It's just plain Mr Cunningham now, no need to call me Doctor.

3) expressing what you think honestly, using simple, direct language

a plain answer

plain speaking/talking:

She was admired for her plain speaking.

(as) plain as the nose on your faceinformal very obvious

make something plain/make yourself plain — to say something so that it is obvious what you mean

Thomas made plain his concerns about the changes introduced at work.

plain English/language/wording — language that is easy to understand because it does not use difficult or technical words

There have been demands for the tax forms to be rewritten in plain English.

the plain fact/truth isspoken used for saying what you think is true even if it offends someone

The plain fact is that he is not doing his job very well.

plain stupidity/luck etc — used for emphasizing that something is very stupid/lucky etc

It was plain stupidity to think they could get away with a crime like that.


Derived word:
noun uncountable
II UK [pleɪn] / US noun
Word forms "plain":
singular plain plural plains
1) plain or plains
[countable] a large flat area of land

the vast plains in the central states of the US

the Serengeti Plains in East Africa

2) [uncountable] British the ordinary basic stitch in knitting

III UK [pleɪn] / US adverb
Word forms "plain":
comparative plainer superlative plainest
used for emphasizing that someone or something has a particular negative quality

It was just plain stupid of him to get involved.

That's just plain crazy!

Adjectives frequently used with plain
▪  crazy, daft, rude, selfish, silly, stupid, wrong

English dictionary. 2014.

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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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