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plain - definition and synonyms


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adjective plain pronunciation in British English /pleɪn/
Word Forms
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  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.
      not very attractive
      He seems to go for plain quiet women.
    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 meal served in the evening which consists of foods traditionally eaten at breakfast

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