Plain (?), v. i. [OE. playne, pleyne, fr. F. plaindre. See Plaint.]

To lament; to bewail; to complain.

[Archaic & Poetic]


We with piteous heart unto you pleyne. Chaucer.


© Webster 1913.

Plain, v. t.

To lament; to mourn over; as, to plain a loss.

[Archaic & Poetic]

Sir J. Harrington.


© Webster 1913.

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.]


Without elevations or depressions; flat; level; smooth; even. See Plane.

The crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain. Isa. xl. 4.


Open; clear; unencumbered; equal; fair.

Our troops beat an army in plain fight. Felton.


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.


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.


Without beauty; not handsome; homely; as, a plain woman.


Not variegated, dyed, or figured; as, plain muslin.


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.


© Webster 1913.

Plain, adv.

In a plain manner; plainly.

"To speak short and pleyn." Chaucer. "To tell you plain." Shak.


© Webster 1913.

Plain, n. [Cf. OF. plaigne, F. plaine. See Plain, a.]


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.


A field of battle.



Lead forth my soldiers to the plain. Shak.


© Webster 1913.

Plain, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Plained (); p. pr. & vb. n. Plaining.] [Cf. Plane, v.]


To plane or level; to make plain or even on the surface

. [R.]

We would rake Europe rather, plain the East. Wither.


To make plain or manifest; to explain.

What's dumb in show, I'll plain in speech. Shak.


© Webster 1913.

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