Meaning of GRAIN in English


I. ˈgrān noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English grain, grein, partly from Middle French grain cereal plant, kernel, grain, from Latin granum; partly from Middle French graine seed, kermes, dye made from kermes, from Latin grana, plural of granum — more at corn



(1) obsolete : a single small hard seed

(2) : the seed or fruit resembling seed of any cereal grass (as wheat, oats, rice, millet) — compare caryopsis


(1) : the unhusked or the threshed seeds or fruits of various food plants including the cereal grasses and in commercial and statutory usage (as in an insurance policy or trade list) other plants (as flax, peas, sugarcane) — compare corn 3

(2) : the plants producing such seed or fruit

c. : one of the drupelets of a multiple fruit (as the raspberry)

d. : a rounded prominence on the back of a sepal (as in the common dock)



(1) : a small hard particle (as of sand, sugar, salt, gunpowder)

(2) : one of the individual light-sensitive crystals of a photographic material or a particle resulting from the development of such a material ; collectively : such crystals or particles

(3) : an individual crystal in a metal ; collectively : such crystals


(1) : a minute portion or particle

a grain of pollen

the great structure of scientific knowledge to which his little grain will be added — Oliver LaFarge

(2) : the least possible amount

did not have a grain of sense

left him no grain of hope

c. : fine crystallization (as of sugar)

boiling the solution to grain

stopped the boiling process after the grain had formed


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 , shade

in a robe of darkest grain — John Milton

e. : a light yellowish brown that is lighter and slightly redder and less strong than khaki, paler and slightly yellower than walnut brown, and paler and slightly redder than manila


a. : a superficial roughness imparting an appearance of being covered with grains : granulated appearance

the grain on a lithographer's plate


(1) or grain side : the outer or hair side of a skin or hide — compare flesh 7

(2) : the markings on such a grain

(3) : a surface artificially treated to resemble such a grain

c. : small pimply projections on the upper or outer surface of fully cured and fermented cigar leaf


a. : 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 and equal to .0648 gram — see carat grain , measure table

b. : a degree of hardness of water calculated by analysis of the number of such units of calcium carbonate per gallon of tested water — usually used with a preceding number designating the number of units

reduce the original 22- grain hardness — L.C.Huffman

c. in Malta : grano


a. : the appearance and texture of wood especially as determined by the manner in which it is cut in relation to the cells, their size, shape, and orientation and their proportions and arrangement in annual rings : the appearance of the wood fibers in a piece of wood especially as to their arrangement and direction of stratification ; also : the direction of stratification of wood fibers


(1) : an appearance or texture that is due to the arrangement and especially stratification of constituent particles or fibers and that is similar to or suggests the texture of wood

the grain of a rock

the grain of a metallic surface

the grain of a piece of meat

(2) : a linear arrangement of roughly parallel ridges and valleys commonly displayed in regions of tilted sedimentary rocks ; also : the direction of such linear features

the grain of the relief runs east and west

c. : a direction of cleavage of rock at right angles to and less conspicuous than the rift

d. : a direction of threads especially in the warp of a fabric

e. : the fiber or yarn of a woven material that is dyed or is to be dyed

dyed in the grain

f. : machine direction

g. : the direction in which the blades of grass on a putting green tend to bend

the average player never knows or cares whether he is putting with or against the grain of a green — Paul Gallico

7. grains plural : the remains of grain left in a mash tun after the completion of the mashing process



(1) : the arrangement of the particles of a body or of matter that determines its tactile quality especially as to roughness or hardness

the grain of the freshly split piece of marble

the fine grain of her skin — Edna Ferber

(2) : the roughness or hardness determined by this arrangement

a soft- grain soap

(3) : the coarseness or fineness of an abrasive expressed by a preceding number indicating the mesh of the finest screen through which the particles will pass

a 24- grain grinding wheel


(1) : natural disposition : temper , inclination

brothers similar in grain

it went against the boy's grain to tell lies

(2) : basic quality or kind

other poets of a tougher grain — Van Wyck Brooks

his work is … clearly in the American grain — Time

c. : prevailing direction

running against the grain of the American polity — Times Literary Supplement

9. : a piece of powder charge used in a rocket

- in grain

- with a grain of salt

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

1. : ingrain 2

her hands were rough, broken, and grained with dirt — Rearden Conner


a. : to form (as powder) into grains : cause to separate in grains : granulate

b. : to salt out — used especially of soap

3. : to paint or otherwise decorate in imitation of a grain (as of wood or stone)

4. : to impart a granulated surface to (as paper, stone, or metal for lithographic work) : impress a grain upon (as a fabric)

5. : to feed with grain

intransitive verb

: to form into grains : become granular : granulate

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English grein, grain, from Old Norse grein branch, arm of the sea; akin to Old Norse grīna to grin — more at groan

1. now dialect Britain

a. : an arm of the sea

b. : branch , fork

a grain of a river

c. : a branching fork in a tree

2. grains plural but singular in construction : an iron fish spear or harpoon having two or more barbed points

IV. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

: to spear (fish) with a grains

V. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: from obsolete grane trap, snare, noose, from Middle English — more at grin

dialect England : strangle , choke

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.