from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Free from obstructions; open; clear: in plain view.
- adj. Obvious to the mind; evident: make one's intention plain. See Synonyms at apparent.
- adj. Not elaborate or complicated; simple: plain food.
- adj. Straightforward; frank or candid: plain talk.
- adj. Not mixed with other substances; pure: plain water.
- adj. Common in rank or station; average; ordinary: a plain man.
- adj. Not pretentious; unaffected.
- adj. Marked by little or no ornamentation or decoration.
- adj. Not dyed, twilled, or patterned: a plain fabric.
- adj. Lacking beauty or distinction: a plain face.
- adj. Sheer; utter; unqualified: plain stupidity.
- adj. Archaic Having no visible elevation or depression; flat; level.
- n. An extensive, level, usually treeless area of land.
- n. A broad level expanse, as a part of the sea floor or a lunar mare.
- n. Something free of ornamentation or extraneous matter.
- adv. Informal Clearly; simply: plain stubborn.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adv. Simply
- v. To lament, bewail.
- n. An expanse of land with relatively low relief.
- n. A plane.
- v. To plane or level; to make plain or even on the surface.
- v. To make plain or manifest; to explain.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- intransitive v. To lament; to bewail; to complain.
- transitive v. To lament; to mourn over.
- adj. Without elevations or depressions; flat; level; smooth; even. See plane.
- adj. Open; clear; unencumbered; equal; fair.
- adj. Not intricate or difficult; evident; manifest; obvious; clear; unmistakable.
- adj. Void of extraneous beauty or ornament; without conspicious embellishment; not rich; simple.
- adj. Not highly cultivated; unsophisticated; free from show or pretension; simple; natural; homely; common.
- adj. Free from affectation or disguise; candid; sincere; artless; honest; frank.
- adj. Not luxurious; not highly seasoned; simple.
- adj. Without beauty; not handsome; homely.
- adj. Not variegated, dyed, or figured.
- adj. Not much varied by modulations.
- adv. In a plain manner; plainly.
- n. Level land; usually, an open field or a broad stretch of land with an even surface, or a surface little varied by inequalities
- n. A field of battle.
- transitive v. To plane or level; to make plain or even on the surface.
- transitive v. To make plain or manifest; to explain.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Flat; level: smooth; even; free from elevations and depressions: as, a plain surface or country.
- Open; unobstructed by intervening barriers or defenses.
- Easy; free from intricacies or difficulties: as, plain exercises in shorthand.
- Undisguised; frank; sincere; unreserved.
- Clear; evident; manifest; easily perceived or understood: as, to make one's meaning plain; it was plain he was offended.
- Unqualified: undisguised; unmistakable; sheer; downright; absolute.
- Without a figured pattern; unornamented with decorative patterns or designs; also, when applied to fabrics, untwilled or uncolored: as. plain black cloth; plain muslin.
- Void of ornament or bright color; without embellishment; simple; unadorned.
- Without beauty; homely: as, she is plain, but clever.
- Artless; simple; unlearned; without artifice or affectation; unsophisticated.
- Not highly seasoned; not rich; not luxuriously dressed: as, a plain diet.
- Incomplex; simple.
- In card-playing, not trumps; lay: as, a plain card; a plain suit.
- Whole-colored; not variegated: as, plain white eggs.
- Smooth; unstriate, as muscular fiber.
- Embroidery in the same color as the ground.
- Clear, Evident, etc. (see manifest), distinct, patent, unmistakable, unequivocal, unambiguous, explicit, intelligible.
- Unvarnished, unem-bellished.
- n. An extent of level, or nearly level, land; a region not noticeably diversified with mountains, hills, or valleys.
- n. A field; especially, a field of battle.
- n. An open space surrounded by houses: as, St. Mary's Plain; the Theater Plain, in Norwich.
- In a plain manner; plainly; clearly; openly; frankly; bluntly.
- To make plain, level, or even; smooth; clear.
- To make plain or clear; explain.
- To lament; wail; mourn.
- To whinny: said of a horse.
- To lament; bewail; bemoan; mourn over.
- In old music, said of certain graces or embellishments, like the beat, backfall, etc., when without extension by a shake: opposed to shaked. Also called smooth.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. not mixed with extraneous elements
- n. extensive tract of level open land
- adj. not elaborate or elaborated; simple
- adj. lacking embellishment or ornamentation
- adj. free from any effort to soften to disguise
- adj. clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment
- v. express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness
- adv. unmistakably (`plain' is often used informally for `plainly')
- adj. lacking in physical beauty or proportion
- adj. lacking patterns especially in color
- n. a basic knitting stitch
Middle English, from Old French, from Latin plānus.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman pleyn, playn, Middle French plain, plein, from Latin plānus ("flat, even, level, plain"). (Wiktionary)
From Anglo-Norman plainer, pleiner, variant of Anglo-Norman and Old French pleindre, plaindre, from Latin plangere, present active infinitive of plangō. (Wiktionary)
From Old French plain, from Latin plānum ("level ground, a plain"), neuter substantive from plānus ("level, even, flat"). (Wiktionary)