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adjective plain pronunciation in British English /pleɪn/ 
Word Forms
  1. 1
    easily seen or understood

    Hugh's message was short, but the meaning was plain enough.

    it is plain (that):

    It was plain that they knew each other already.

    it is plain to someone (that):

    It was plain to everyone that Maude was not happy.

    make it plain:

    Therese made it plain that she would not help Robert any more.

    be plain to see:

    Her disappointment was plain to see.

  2. 2
    simple in design, with no decoration

    a plain wooden table

    The gardens were fairly plain, with few plants.

    a plain white T-shirt

    We sell a selection of plain and patterned ties.

    1. a.
      plain food is simple and does not have a lot of things added to it

      a plain sponge cake

      plain yoghurt

      The restaurant serves plain wholesome food.

    2. b.
    3. c.
      [only before noun] used before a name for saying that someone does not have a special title or name

      It's just plain Mr Cunningham now, no need to call me Doctor.

  3. 3
    expressing what you think honestly, using simple, direct language

    a plain answer

    plain speaking/talking:

    She was admired for her plain speaking.


derived word


noun [uncountable]


a paid holiday given to a new employee before they start their job

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selfie stick

an expandable stick which you attach to a mobile phone or camera to help you take a selfie …

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