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Definition of “plain” - English Dictionary

"plain" in American English

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plainadjective [-er/-est only]

 us   /pleɪn/
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.
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?
(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.

plainnoun [C usually pl]

 us   /pleɪn/
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)







"plain" in British English

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plainadjective

uk   /pleɪn/  us   /pleɪn/
  • plain adjective (WITH NOTHING ADDED)

B1 not decorated in any way; with nothing added: She wore a plain black dress. We've chosen a plain carpet (= one without a pattern) and patterned curtains. He prefers plain food - nothing too fancy. We're having plain blue walls in the dining room. a catalogue sent in a plain brown envelope a plain style of architecture plain yogurt (= with no added fruit or sugar)
plain paper
paper that has no lines on it: a letter written on plain paper

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  • plain adjective (COMPLETE)

[before noun] (used for emphasis) complete: It was plain stupidity on Richard's part.
plainness
noun [U] uk   /ˈpleɪn.nəs/  us   /ˈpleɪn.nəs/

plainnoun

uk   /pleɪn/  us   /pleɪn/
  • plain noun (LAND)

[C] (also plains [plural]) a large area of flat land: the coastal plain High mountains rise above the plain.
  • plain noun (STITCH)

[U] a type of simple stitch in knitting: a row of plain and two rows of purl

plainadverb

uk   /pleɪn/  us   /pleɪn/ informal
(Definition of plain from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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