Meaning of GRAIN in English

I. ˈgrān noun

Etymology: Middle English, partly from Anglo-French grain cereal grain, from Latin granum; partly from Anglo-French graine seed, kermes, from Latin grana, plural of granum — more at corn

Date: 14th century



(1) obsolete : a single small hard seed

(2) : a seed or fruit of a cereal grass : caryopsis

b. : the seeds or fruits of various food plants including the cereal grasses and in commercial and statutory usage other plants (as the soybean)

c. : plants producing grain



(1) : a small hard particle or crystal

(2) : any of the particles produced in a photographic material by its development ; also : the size of such grains in the aggregate

(3) : an individual crystal in a metal

b. : a minute portion or particle

c. : the least amount possible

a grain of truth


a. : kermes or a scarlet dye made from it

b. : cochineal or a brilliant scarlet dye made from it

c. : a fast dye

d. archaic : color , tint


a. : a granulated surface or appearance

b. : the outer or hair side of a skin or hide

5. : a unit of weight based on the weight of a grain of wheat taken as an average of the weight of grains from the middle of the ear — see weight table


a. : the stratification of the wood fibers in a piece of wood

b. : a texture due to constituent particles or fibers

the grain of a rock

c. : the direction of threads in cloth

7. : tactile quality


a. : natural disposition : temper

lying goes against my grain

b. : a basic or characteristic quality

c. : a prevalent ideology or convention

teaching against the grain

• grained ˈgrānd adjective

• grain·less adjective

II. verb

Date: 1530

transitive verb

1. : ingrain

2. : to form into grains : granulate

3. : to paint in imitation of the grain of wood or stone

4. : to feed with grain

intransitive verb

: to become granular : granulate

• grain·er noun

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.