Meaning of PLAIN in English


I. ˈplān intransitive verb

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French pleindre, plaindre, from Latin plangere to lament — more at plaint

Date: 14th century

archaic : complain

II. noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin planum, from neuter of planus flat, plain — more at floor

Date: 14th century


a. : an extensive area of level or rolling treeless country

b. : a broad unbroken expanse

2. : something free from artifice, ornament, or extraneous matter

III. adjective

Date: 14th century

1. archaic : even , level

2. : lacking ornament : undecorated

3. : free of extraneous matter : pure

4. : free of impediments to view : unobstructed



(1) : evident to the mind or senses : obvious

it's perfectly plain that they will resist

(2) : clear

let me make my meaning plain

b. : marked by outspoken candor : free from duplicity or subtlety : blunt

plain talk


a. : belonging to the masses : common

b. : lacking special distinction or affectation : ordinary

7. : characterized by simplicity : not complicated

plain home-cooked meals

8. : lacking beauty or ugliness

Synonyms: see common , evident , frank

• plain·ly adverb

• plain·ness ˈplān-nəs noun

IV. adverb

Date: 14th century

: in a plain manner : without obscurity or ambiguity

saw them clearly and told you plain — American Documentation

V. adverb

Etymology: partly from Middle English plein entire, complete, from Anglo-French, full, from Latin plenus; partly from plain (IV) — more at full

Date: 1535

: absolutely 1

it plain galled me to pay fancy prices — F. R. Buckley

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