AskDefine | Define plain

Dictionary Definition

plain adj
1 clearly apparent or obvious to the mind or senses; "the effects of the drought are apparent to anyone who sees the parched fields"; "evident hostility"; "manifest disapproval"; "patent advantages"; "made his meaning plain"; "it is plain that he is no reactionary"; "in plain view" [syn: apparent, evident, manifest, patent]
2 not elaborate or elaborated; simple; "plain food"; "stuck to the plain facts"; "a plain blue suit"; "a plain rectangular brick building" [ant: fancy]
3 lacking patterns especially in color [syn: unpatterned] [ant: patterned]
4 not mixed with extraneous elements; "plain water"; "sheer wine"; "not an unmixed blessing" [syn: sheer, unmingled, unmixed]
5 free from any effort to soften to disguise; "the plain and unvarnished truth"; "the unvarnished candor of old people and children" [syn: unvarnished]
6 lacking embellishment or ornamentation; "a plain hair style"; "unembellished white walls"; "functional architecture featuring stark unornamented concrete" [syn: unembellished, unornamented]
7 lacking stylistic embellishment; "a literal description"; "wrote good but plain prose"; "a plain unadorned account of the coronation"; "a forthright unembellished style" [syn: literal, unembellished]
8 comprehensible to the general public; "written for the popular press in plain nontechnical language" [syn: popular]
9 lacking in physical beauty or proportion; "a homely child"; "several of the buildings were downright homely"; "a plain girl with a freckled face" [syn: homely]

Noun

1 extensive tract of level open land; "they emerged from the woods onto a vast open plain"; "he longed for the fields of his youth" [syn: field, champaign]
2 a basic knitting stitch [syn: knit, knit stitch, plain stitch] adv : unmistakably (`plain' is often used informally for `plainly'); "the answer is obviously wrong"; "she was in bed and evidently in great pain"; "he was manifestly too important to leave off the guest list"; "it is all patently nonsense"; "she has apparently been living here for some time"; "I thought he owned the property, but apparently not"; "You are plainly wrong"; "he is plain stubborn" [syn: obviously, evidently, manifestly, patently, apparently, plainly] v : express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness; "My mother complains all day"; "She has a lot to kick about" [syn: complain, kick, sound off, quetch, kvetch] [ant: cheer]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

  • , /pl̩eɪn/
  • Rhymes: -eɪn

Homophones

Etymology 1

From plain, from planus.

Adjective

en-adj er
  1. ordinary; lacking adornment or ornamentation.
  2. containing no non-printing characters; ASCII code values 32 through 126.
Translations
ordinary; lacking adornment or ornamentation
  • Arabic:
  • Chinese: 的 (píng de)
  • Dutch: eenvoudig
  • Finnish: selvä, yksinkertainen
  • French: simple
  • German: schlicht
  • Hungarian: egyszerű
  • Italian: semplice
  • Japanese: 質素な (しっそな, shissona)
  • Korean: 소박한 (sobakhan)
  • Kurdish:
    Sorani: ساده
  • Portuguese: simples
  • Russian: простой
  • Spanish: sencillo
  • Swedish: vanlig
computing: containing no non-printing characters
  • Japanese: (hira)

Etymology 2

From plain, from planum.

Noun

  1. An expanse of land with relatively low relief.
    • 1961: J. A. Philip. Mimesis in the Sophistês of Plato. In: Proceedings and Transactions of the American Philological Association 92. p. 467.
      For Plato the life of the philosopher is a life of struggle towards the goal of knowledge, towards “searching the heavens and measuring the plains, in all places seeking the nature of everything as a whole”
Translations
an expanse of land with relatively low relief
  • Dutch: vlakte
  • Japanese: 平地 (heichi)
  • Portuguese: planície

French

Etymology

From planus.

Pronunciation

Homophones

Adjective

plain

Romansch

Etymology

From plenus.

Adjective

plain

Extensive Definition

  • Coastal plain, an area of low-lying land adjacent to a sea coast; the term is used especially where they contrast with hills, mountains or plateaux further inland.
  • Fluvial plains are formed by rivers and streams, and may be one of these overlapping types:
    • Flood plain, adjacent to a stream, river, lake or wetland that experiences occasional or periodic flooding.
    • Alluvial plain, formed over a long period of time by a river depositing sediment on its floodplain or bed which becomes alluvial soil. The difference between a floodplain and an alluvial plain is that the floodplain represents the area experiencing flooding fairly regularly in the present or recently, whereas an alluvial plain includes areas where the floodplain is now and used to be, or areas which only experience flooding a few times a century.
    • Scroll plain, a plain through which a river meanders with a very low gradient.
  • Lacustrine plain, a plain that originally formed in a lacustrine environment, that is, as the bed of a lake.
  • Lava plain, formed by sheets of flowing lava.
  • Till plain, a plain of glacial till that forms when a sheet of ice becomes detached from the main body of a glacier and melts in place depositing the sediments it carried.

Other types of plain

The term may also be used for flat areas of the ocean floor or for flat areas on moons and planets.
  • Abyssal plain, a flat or very gently sloping area of the deep ocean basin floor.

Notes and references

plain in Arabic: سهل
plain in Guarani: Ñu
plain in Aymara: Pallalla
plain in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Раўніна
plain in Breton: Kompezenn
plain in Bulgarian: Равнина (география)
plain in Catalan: Plana
plain in German: Ebene (Geographie)
plain in Spanish: Llanura
plain in Esperanto: Ebenaĵo
plain in Basque: Ordoki
plain in Persian: جلگه
plain in French: Plaine
plain in Korean: 평야
plain in Italian: Pianura
plain in Hebrew: מישור (גאוגרפיה)
plain in Lithuanian: Lyguma
plain in Dutch: Vlakte
plain in Japanese: 平野
plain in Norwegian Nynorsk: Slette
plain in Polish: Równina
plain in Russian: Равнина
plain in Sicilian: Chianu
plain in Finnish: Tasanko
plain in Swedish: Slätt
plain in Telugu: మైదానం
plain in Turkish: Ova
plain in Ukrainian: Рівнина
plain in Chinese: 平原

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Attic, Bohemian, Ciceronian, Lebensraum, Mickey Mouse, Spartan, abrupt, absolute, absolutely, affable, agricultural region, air space, all-embracing, all-encompassing, all-out, all-pervading, apparent, arable land, articulate, artless, ascetic, audible, austere, back country, bald, bare, baseborn, basic, beautiless, below the salt, billiard table, black belt, blemished, blotted, bluff, blunt, born, born yesterday, bowling green, broad, broad-based, brusque, cacophonic, cacophonous, campestral, campestrian, campo, candid, casual, champaign, chaste, cheerful, childlike, citrus belt, classic, classical, clean, clean-cut, clear, clear as crystal, clear as day, clear space, clear-cut, clearance, clearing, cockney, coherent, colorless, comfortable, common, commonplace, comprehensive, confiding, congenital, connected, consistent, conspicuous, consummate, contrastive, cordial, corn belt, cotton belt, countryside, cozy, crisp, crystal-clear, crystalline, cushy, dead flat, dead level, deep-dyed, defaced, defined, definite, degage, desert, direct, discernible, discreet, disfigured, distant prospect, distinct, distinctive, down, downright, drab, dry, dull, dust bowl, dyed-in-the-wool, dysphemistic, dysphemized, earth, easy, easy as pie, easygoing, effortless, egregious, elegant, elementary, empty view, esplanade, essential, even, everyday, evident, exhaustive, explicit, express, facile, familiar, farm belt, farm country, farmland, featureless, finished, flat, flatland, flattened, floor, flush, folksy, forthright, frank, frankhearted, free, free and easy, free-speaking, free-spoken, free-tongued, friendly, fruit belt, fundamental, garden, garden-variety, genuine, glade, glaring, glib, graceful, gracile, gracious, graphic, grass roots, grassland, grazing region, ground, guileless, haymish, hearable, heart-to-heart, heath, hi-fi, high-fidelity, highlands, homaloid, homaloidal, homelike, homely, homespun, homey, homish, homogeneous, honest, horizontal, horizontal axis, horizontal fault, horizontal line, horizontal parallax, horizontal plane, horizontal projection, household, humble, humble-looking, humble-visaged, humblest, humdrum, ill-favored, in focus, indisputable, indivisible, indubitable, inelegant, informal, ingenu, ingenuous, inglorious, innocent, innocuous, insipid, intelligible, intensive, intimate, irreducible, irregular, irretrievably, irrevocably, lean, least, ledge, legible, level, level line, level plane, light, limpid, living space, llano, loose, loud and clear, low, lowborn, lowbred, lowest, lowlands, lowliest, lowly, lucid, luminous, manifest, marred, matter-of-fact, mead, meadows and pastures, mean, mean sea level, mere, modest, monolithic, moor, moorland, moors, mundane, muted, naive, natural, neat, nonclerical, nondescript, nothing to it, noticeable, observable, obvious, of a piece, offhand, offhanded, omnibus, omnipresent, open, open country, open space, open-and-shut, openhearted, ordinary, out-and-out, outback, outright, outspoken, painless, palpable, pampas, parterre, pasture, patent, peaceful, pedestrian, pellucid, perceivable, perceptible, perfect, perfectly, perspicuous, pervasive, plain as day, plain-speaking, plain-spoken, plains, plane, plateau, platform, plebeian, plumb, poetryless, polished, poor, prairie, prairies, primal, primary, prominent, pronounced, prosaic, prose, prosing, prosy, province, provinces, pure, pure and simple, quite, radical, refined, regular, relaxed, restrained, right, rolled, round, rude, rural district, rustic, rustic region, savanna, sea level, sea of grass, seeable, self-evident, self-explaining, self-explanatory, severe, shabby-genteel, sheer, short, short on looks, simon-pure, simple, simple as ABC, simple-speaking, simplehearted, simpleminded, sincere, single, single-hearted, single-minded, small, smooth, smoothed out, smoothened, snug, sober, sociable, soft, spare, spartan, spoiled, squashed, squashed flat, staring, stark, steppe, steppes, straight, straight-out, straightforward, sweeping, table, tabloid, tabular, tangible, tasteful, teachable, terrace, terrain, territory, terse, the country, the soil, the sticks, third-estate, thorough, thoroughgoing, through-and-through, tiresome, to be seen, tobacco belt, total, translucent, transparent, transpicuous, trim, trodden, trodden flat, trustful, trusting, tundra, ubiquitous, uglified, ugly, ugly as hell, ugly as sin, unadorned, unadulterated, unaesthetic, unaffected, unalluring, unambiguous, unassuming, unattractive, unbeauteous, unbeautiful, unburdensome, unceremonious, unchecked, uncluttered, uncomely, uncomplicated, unconcealed, unconditional, unconfused, unconstrained, unconventional, undecorated, understandable, undifferenced, undifferentiated, undiluted, undisguised, undissembled, undissembling, undistinguished, unelaborate, unembellished, unenhanced, unequivocal, unfeigned, ungarnished, ungenteel, unguarded, unhandsome, unidealistic, uniform, unimaginative, unimpassioned, unimportant, universal, univocal, unlabored, unlovely, unluxurious, unmistakable, unmitigated, unmixed, unofficial, unornamented, unostentatious, unpleasing, unpoetic, unpoetical, unpretending, unpretentious, unpretty, unqualified, unrelievedly, unremarkable, unreserved, unrestrained, unrestricted, unromantic, unsightly, unsophisticated, unstudied, unsuspicious, unvarnished, unwary, uplands, utter, vapid, veld, veldt, veritable, visible, vivid, vulgar, water level, well-defined, well-marked, well-pronounced, well-resolved, wheat belt, wholesale, wide-open spaces, wilderness, wold, woodland, woods and fields, workaday, workday, yokeldom
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