plain - definition in the American English Dictionary - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “plain”

See all translations

plain

adjective [-er/-est only]  us   /pleɪn/

plain adjective [-er/-est only] (WITH NOTHING ADDED)

not decorated in any way; with nothing added: The catalog was sent in a plain brown envelope. The food is pretty plain (= prepared simply and without strong flavors), but there’s lots of it.

plain adjective [-er/-est only] (CLEAR)

obvious, or clear and easy to see or understand; not complicated: A group of wild horses was in plain view (= We could see them clearly). Why can’t they write these instructions in plain English?

plain adjective [-er/-est only] (NOT ATTRACTIVE)

(esp. of a woman or girl) not attractive: She always thought of herself as plain.
plain
adverb [not gradable]  us   /pleɪn/
infml It was just plain stupid to give him your telephone number.

plain

noun [C usually pl]  us   /pleɪn/

plain noun [C usually pl] (LAND)

earth science a large area of flat land at low elevation (= height above the surface of the earth): A number of paintings by Western artists show Indian settlements in the plains.
(Definition of plain from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of plain?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “plain” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

gale-force

(of winds) very strong

Word of the Day

They sometimes go here and they never go there: using adverbs of frequency

by Liz Walter,
April 29, 2015
Sometimes, always, often, never: these are some of the most common words in English.  Unfortunately, they are also some of the words that cause the most problems for students. Many of my students put them in the wrong place, often because that’s where they go in their own languages. They say things

Read More 

Evel abbreviation

May 04, 2015
English votes for English laws; the idea that only English (as opposed to Scottish, Welsh or Irish) MPs should be allowed to vote for laws that affect only England Yet these are the two principal constitutional proposals that have come from the Conservative party in its kneejerk response to Ukip’s English nationalism and

Read More