plain1 W3S2 [pleın] adj
2 in plain English/language
6¦(not beautiful)¦
7 in plain clothes
8 (just) plain Mr/Mrs etc
9 be plain sailing
10 in plain sight
[Date: 1200-1300; : Old French; Origin: Latin planus 'flat, level, clear']
1.) ¦(CLEAR)¦
very clear, and easy to understand or recognize
= ↑obvious it is plain (that)
It was plain that Giles was not going to agree.
The advantages were plain to see.
You have made your feelings plain enough.
Let me make it plain (=state it clearly) . We do not want you here.
make yourself plain
(=make what you are saying clear)
If you do that again you will be severely punished. Do I make myself plain?
as plain as day/the nose on your face
(=very clear)
2.) in plain English/language
in clear and simple words, without using technical language
The document, written in plain English, tells you about your new policy.
3.) ¦(SIMPLE)¦
without anything added or without decoration
= ↑simple
a plain white blouse
a plain wooden table
plain yoghurt
a plain gold wedding ring
Your essay should be written on plain paper (=paper with no lines on it) .
4.) ¦(HONEST)¦
showing clearly and honestly what is true or what you think about something
= ↑frank, candid ↑candid
Let's have some plain, truthful answers.
I don't know, and that's the plain truth .
The plain fact is people still buy books.
5.) ¦(EMPHASIS)¦ [only before noun]
spoken used to emphasize that a particular type of behaviour, attitude etc is involved, usually a bad one
His motive was plain greed.
When you told him his house was too cold that was just plain bad manners.
not beautiful or attractive - often used because you want to avoid saying this directly
Mrs Cookson was a rather plain woman.
plain Jane
(=used to talk about a woman who is not beautiful)
7.) in plain clothes
police officers in plain clothes are not wearing uniform
8.) (just) plain Mr/Mrs etc
spoken used to show that someone does not have or use a special title
I don't call him Uncle - just plain Bill.
9.) be plain sailing
to be very easy to do or achieve
If you can answer the first question, the rest of the test should be plain sailing.
10.) in plain sight
AmE if something is in plain sight, it is easy to see or notice, especially when it should be hidden
Don't leave your valuables in plain sight.
>plainness n [U]
plain 2
plain2 n
1.) also plains
a large area of flat dry land
The grassy plain gave way to an extensive swamp.
the vast plains of central China
2.) [U]
the ordinary stitch in ↑knitting
plain 3
plain3 adv
informal used to emphasize an adjective, usually one referring to a bad quality
It's just plain crazy to spend all your pay as soon as you get it.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • plain — plain …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • plain — plain, aine 1. (plin, plè n ) adj. 1°   Qui est sans inégalités, uni. •   Si le pays est bossu ou plain, couvert de bois ou découvert, VAUBAN. Dîme, p. 223. •   Des cascades dans des lieux plains et sablonneux, J. J. ROUSS. Hél. IV, 11.… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Plain — Plain, a. [Compar. {Plainer}; superl. {Plainest}.] [F., level, flat, fr. L. planus, perhaps akin to E. floor. Cf. {Llano}, {Piano}, {Plan}, {Plane} level, a level surface.] 1. Without elevations or depressions; flat; level; smooth; even. See… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • plain — PLAIN, [pl]aine. adj. Il signifie proprement, Qui est uni, plat, & sans inegalitez: & il reçoit divers sens selon les divers substantifs, ausquels il se joint. Ainsi on dit, qu Une maison est en plain champ, en plaine campagne, pour dire, qu Elle …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • plain — plain1 [plān] adj. [OFr < L planus, flat, level < IE base * plā , broad, flat > FLOOR, FIELD] 1. Obs. flat; level; plane 2. free from obstructions; open; clear [in plain view] 3. clearly understood; evident; obvious [to make one s meani …   English World dictionary

  • plain — adj 1 plane, flat, *level, even, smooth, flush Antonyms: solid 2 clear, distinct, obvious, *evident, manifest, patent, apparent, palpable Analogous words: *clear, lucid, perspicuous: *explicit, express, definite, specific, categorical Antonyms:… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • plain — [adj1] clear, obvious apparent, audible, big as life*, broad, comprehensible, definite, distinct, evident, legible, lucid, manifest, open, open and shut*, palpable, patent, talking turkey*, transparent, understandable, visible; concepts… …   New thesaurus

  • Plain — Plain, n. [Cf. OF. plaigne, F. plaine. See {Plain}, a.] 1. Level land; usually, an open field or a broad stretch of land with an even surface, or a surface little varied by inequalities; as, the plain of Jordan; the American plains, or prairies.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Plain — Plain, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Plained}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Plaining}.] [Cf. {Plane}, v.] 1. To plane or level; to make plain or even on the surface. [R.] [1913 Webster] We would rake Europe rather, plain the East. Wither. [1913 Webster] 2. To make… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Plain — ist der Name folgender Personen: Honest John Plain Maria Plain sowie des Adelsgeschlechts: Grafen von Plain Plain ist ein Ortsname: Plain (Wisconsin) Diese Seite ist eine …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Plain — Plain, adv. In a plain manner; plainly. To speak short and pleyn. Chaucer. To tell you plain. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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