Plain, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Plained p. pr. & vb. n. Plaining.]
1. To plane or level; to make plain or even on the surface. [R.]
We would rake Europe rather, plain the East. --Wither.
2. To make plain or manifest; to explain.
What's dumb in show, I'll plain in speech. --Shak.
Plain v. i. To lament; to bewail; to complain. [Archaic & Poetic]
We with piteous heart unto you pleyne. --Chaucer.
Plain, v. t. To lament; to mourn over; as, to plain a loss. [Archaic & Poetic]
Plain, a. [Compar. Plainer superl. Plainest.]
1. Without elevations or depressions; flat; level; smooth; even. See Plane.
The crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain. --Isa. xl. 4.
2. Open; clear; unencumbered; equal; fair.
Our troops beat an army in plain fight. --Felton.
3. Not intricate or difficult; evident; manifest; obvious; clear; unmistakable. “'T is a plain case.”
4. (a) Void of extraneous beauty or ornament; without conspicious embellishment; not rich; simple. (b) Not highly cultivated; unsophisticated; free from show or pretension; simple; natural; homely; common. “Plain yet pious Christians.” --Hammond. “The plain people.” --A. Lincoln. (c) Free from affectation or disguise; candid; sincere; artless; honest; frank. “An honest mind, and plain.” --Shak. (d) Not luxurious; not highly seasoned; simple; as, plain food. (e) Without beauty; not handsome; homely; as, a plain woman. (f) Not variegated, dyed, or figured; as, plain muslin. (g) Not much varied by modulations; as, a plain tune.
Plain battle, open battle; pitched battle. [Obs.] --Chaucer.
Plain chant Mus. Same as Plain song, below.
Plain chart Naut., a chart laid down on Mercator's projection.
Plain dealer. (a) One who practices plain dealing. (b) A simpleton. [Obs.] --Shak.
Plain dealing. See under Dealing.
Plain molding Join., molding of which the surfaces are plain figures.
Plain sewing, sewing of seams by simple and common stitches, in distinct from fancy work, embroidery, etc.; -- distinguished also from designing and fitting garments.
Plain song. (a) The Gregorian chant, or canto fermo; the prescribed melody of the Roman Catholic service, sung in unison, in tones of equal length, and rarely extending beyond the compass of an octave. (b) A simple melody.
Plain speaking, plainness or bluntness of speech.
Syn: -- Level; flat; smooth; open; artless; unaffected; undisguised; frank; sincere; honest; candid; ingenuous; unembellished; downright; blunt; clear; simple; distinct; manifest; obvious; apparent. See Manifest.
Plain, adv. In a plain manner; plainly. “To speak short and pleyn.” --Chaucer. “To tell you plain.” --Shak.
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.
Descending fro the mountain into playn. --Chaucer.
Him the Ammonite
Worshiped in Rabba and her watery plain. --Milton.
2. A field of battle. [Obs.]
Lead forth my soldiers to the plain. --Shak.
adj 1: clearly apparent or obvious to the mind or senses; "the
effects of the drought are apparent to anyone who sees
the parched fields"; "evident hostility"; "manifest
disapproval"; "patent advantages"; "made his meaning
plain"; "it is plain that he is no reactionary"; "in
plain view" [syn: apparent, evident, manifest, patent]
2: not elaborate or elaborated; simple; "plain food"; "stuck to
the plain facts"; "a plain blue suit"; "a plain
rectangular brick building" [ant: fancy]
3: lacking patterns especially in color [syn: unpatterned]
4: not mixed with extraneous elements; "plain water"; "sheer
wine"; "not an unmixed blessing" [syn: sheer, unmingled,
5: free from any effort to soften to disguise; "the plain and
unvarnished truth"; "the unvarnished candor of old people
and children" [syn: unvarnished]
6: lacking embellishment or ornamentation; "a plain hair
style"; "unembellished white walls"; "functional
architecture featuring stark unornamented concrete" [syn:
7: lacking stylistic embellishment; "a literal description";
"wrote good but plain prose"; "a plain unadorned account
of the coronation"; "a forthright unembellished style"
[syn: literal, unembellished]
8: comprehensible to the general public; "written for the
popular press in plain nontechnical language" [syn: popular]
9: lacking in physical beauty or proportion; "a homely child";
"several of the buildings were downright homely"; "a plain
girl with a freckled face" [syn: homely]
n 1: extensive tract of level open land; "they emerged from the
woods onto a vast open plain"; "he longed for the fields
of his youth" [syn: field, champaign]
2: a basic knitting stitch [syn: knit, knit stitch, plain
adv : unmistakably (`plain' is often used informally for
`plainly'); "the answer is obviously wrong"; "she was
in bed and evidently in great pain"; "he was manifestly
too important to leave off the guest list"; "it is all
patently nonsense"; "she has apparently been living
here for some time"; "I thought he owned the property,
but apparently not"; "You are plainly wrong"; "he is
plain stubborn" [syn: obviously, evidently, manifestly,
patently, apparently, plainly]
v : express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness;
"My mother complains all day"; "She has a lot to kick
about" [syn: complain, kick, sound off, quetch, kvetch]
(1.) Heb. 'abel (Judg. 11:33), a "grassy plain" or "meadow."
Instead of "plains of the vineyards," as in the Authorized
Version, the Revised Version has "Abel-cheramim" (q.v.), comp.
Judg. 11:22; 2 Chr. 16:4.
(2.) Heb. 'elon (Gen. 12:6; 13:18; 14:13; 18:1; Deut. 11:30;
Judg. 9:6), more correctly "oak," as in the Revised Version;
(3.) Heb. bik'ah (Gen. 11:2; Neh. 6:2; Ezek. 3:23; Dan. 3:1),
properly a valley, as rendered in Isa. 40:4, a broad plain
between mountains. In Amos 1:5 the margin of Authorized Version
(4.) Heb. kikar, "the circle," used only of the Ghor, or the
low ground along the Jordan (Gen. 13:10-12; 19:17, 25, 28, 29;
Deut. 34:3; 2 Sam. 18:23; 1 Kings 7:46; 2 Chr. 4:17; Neh. 3:22;
12:28), the floor of the valley through which it flows. This
name is applied to the Jordan valley as far north as Succoth.
(5.) Heb. mishor, "level ground," smooth, grassy table-land
(Deut. 3:10; 4:43; Josh. 13:9, 16, 17, 21; 20:8; Jer. 48:21), an
expanse of rolling downs without rock or stone. In these
passages, with the article prefixed, it denotes the plain in the
tribe of Reuben. In 2 Chr. 26:10 the plain of Judah is meant.
Jerusalem is called "the rock of the plain" in Jer. 21:13,
because the hills on which it is built rise high above the
(6.) Heb. 'arabah, the valley from the Sea of Galilee
southward to the Dead Sea (the "sea of the plain," 2 Kings
14:25; Deut. 1:1; 2:8), a distance of about 70 miles. It is
called by the modern Arabs the Ghor. This Hebrew name is found
in Authorized Version (Josh. 18:18), and is uniformly used in
the Revised Version. Down through the centre of this plain is a
ravine, from 200 to 300 yards wide, and from 50 to 100 feet
deep, through which the Jordan flows in a winding course. This
ravine is called the "lower plain."
The name Arabah is also applied to the whole Jordan valley
from Mount Hermon to the eastern branch of the Red Sea, a
distance of about 200 miles, as well as to that portion of the
valley which stretches from the Sea of Galilee to the same
branch of the Red Sea, i.e., to the Gulf of Akabah about 100
miles in all.
(7.) Heb. shephelah, "low ground," "low hill-land," rendered
"vale" or "valley" in Authorized Version (Josh. 9:1; 10:40;
11:2; 12:8; Judg. 1:9; 1 Kings 10:27). In Authorized Version (1
Chr. 27:28; 2 Chr. 26:10) it is also rendered "low country." In
Jer. 17:26, Obad. 1:19, Zech. 7:7, "plain." The Revised Version
renders it uniformly "low land." When it is preceded by the
article, as in Deut. 1:7, Josh. 11:16; 15:33, Jer. 32:44; 33:13,
Zech. 7:7, "the shephelah," it denotes the plain along the
Mediterranean from Joppa to Gaza, "the plain of the
Philistines." (See VALLEY.)