plain

Plain things are simple, unadorned, and even a little boring. Being a plain talker means you don't use pretentious, fancy words. But having a plain face means you're not much to look at.

Plain comes from the Latin word planum, meaning "level ground." That's one meaning of the word, as in a flat prairie or low lying coastal flood plain. If something is in plain view, it's out in the open with no obstructions. But usually we use plain as an adjective to describe unembellished, bare, or unimpressive things. A white room with just an old bed and a chair is pretty plain.

Definitions of plain
  1. adjective
    not elaborate or elaborated; simple
    plain food”
    “stuck to the plain facts”
    “a plain blue suit”
    “a plain rectangular brick building”
    Synonyms:
    unadorned, undecorated
    not decorated with something to increase its beauty or distinction
    austere, severe, stark, stern
    severely simple
    bare, mere, simple
    apart from anything else; without additions or modifications
    chaste
    pure and simple in design or style
    dry
    (of food) eaten without a spread or sauce or other garnish
    dry
    having no adornment or coloration
    featureless
    lacking distinguishing characteristics or features
    homely
    plain and unpretentious
    inelaborate, unelaborate
    not elaborate; lacking rich or complex detail
    literal
    avoiding embellishment or exaggeration (used for emphasis)
    simple
    unornamented
    tailored, trim
    severely simple in line or design
    vanilla
    plain and without any extras or adornments
    unpretentious
    lacking pretension or affectation
    unrhetorical
    not rhetorical
    simple
    having few parts; not complex or complicated or involved
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    Antonyms:
    fancy
    not plain; decorative or ornamented
    adorned, decorated
    provided with something intended to increase its beauty or distinction
    aureate, flamboyant, florid
    elaborately or excessively ornamented
    baroque, churrigueresco, churrigueresque
    having elaborate symmetrical ornamentation
    busy, fussy
    overcrowded or cluttered with detail
    dressy
    in fancy clothing
    crackle
    having the surface decorated with a network of fine cracks, as in crackleware
    damascene
    (of metals) decorated or inlaid with a wavy pattern of different (especially precious) metals
    damask
    having a woven pattern
    elaborate, luxuriant, ornate
    marked by complexity and richness of detail
    battlemented, castellated, castled, embattled
    having or resembling repeated square indentations like those in a battlement
    fanciful
    having a curiously intricate quality
    fantastic
    extravagantly fanciful in design, construction, appearance
    lacelike, lacy
    made of or resembling lace
    puff, puffed
    gathered for protruding fullness
    rococo
    having excessive asymmetrical ornamentation
    vermicular, vermiculate, vermiculated
    decorated with wormlike tracery or markings
    rhetorical
    given to rhetoric, emphasizing style at the expense of thought
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  2. adjective
    lacking patterns especially in color
    synonyms: unpatterned
    solid-colored, solid-coloured
    having the same color all over
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    Antonyms:
    patterned
    having patterns (especially colorful patterns)
    banded
    marked with bands or strips of contrasting color or texture
    black-and-tan
    having a pattern of black and tan
    black-barred
    having a pattern consisting of black bars
    black-marked
    having black marks
    blotched, blotchy, splotched
    marked with irregularly shaped spots or blots
    brinded, brindle, brindled, tabby
    having a grey or brown streak or a pattern or a patchy coloring; used especially of the patterned fur of cats
    brown-speckled, brownish-speckled
    having brown speckles
    brown-striped, brownish-striped
    having brown stripes
    burled
    (of wood) have a pattern from the grain of a tree burl
    checked, checkered, chequered
    patterned with alternating squares of color
    cross-banded
    (of snakes) having crossing bands on the back
    dappled, mottled
    having spots or patches of color
    dark-spotted
    having dark spots
    dotted, flecked, specked, speckled, stippled
    having a pattern of dots
    figured
    (of e.g. fabric design) adorned with patterns
    floral, flowered
    resembling or made of or suggestive of flowers
    freckled, lentiginose, lentiginous
    relating to or covered with or resembling freckles
    laced
    edged or streaked with color
    marbled, marbleised, marbleized
    patterned with veins or streaks or color resembling marble
    maroon-spotted
    having maroon spots
    moire, watered
    (of silk fabric) having a wavelike pattern
    patched, spotted, spotty
    having spots or patches (small areas of contrasting color or texture)
    pointillist, pointillistic
    of or relating to pointillism
    pinstriped
    having very thin stripes
    purple-veined
    (of flowers) showing purple markings that resemble veins
    purple-spotted
    having purple spots
    red-streaked, red-striped, reddish-striped
    having red stripes
    ringed
    having colored rings around the body
    slashed
    patterned by having color applied with sweeping strokes
    sprigged
    decorated with designs of sprigs
    streaked, streaky
    marked with or as if with stripes or linear discolorations
    striped, stripy
    marked or decorated with stripes
    tessellated
    having a checkered or mottled appearance
    tiger-striped
    having stripes resembling those of a tiger
    veined, veinlike, venose
    having or showing markings that resemble veins
    violet-streaked
    having streaks of violet color
    white-blotched
    having blotches of white
    white-ribbed
    having white ribs
    white-streaked
    having white streaks
    yellow-banded
    having yellow bands
    yellow-marked
    having yellow marks
    yellow-spotted
    having yellow spots
    yellow-striped
    having yellow stripes
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  3. adjective
    lacking embellishment or ornamentation
    “a plain hair style”
    synonyms: bare, spare, unembellished, unornamented
    unadorned, undecorated
    not decorated with something to increase its beauty or distinction
  4. adjective
    not mixed with extraneous elements
    plain water”
    synonyms: sheer, unmingled, unmixed
    pure
    free of extraneous elements of any kind
  5. adjective
    clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment
    “made his meaning plain
    “it is plain that he is no reactionary”
    “in plain view”
    synonyms: apparent, evident, manifest, patent, resounding, unmistakable
    obvious
    easily perceived by the senses or grasped by the mind
  6. adjective
    free from any effort to soften to disguise
    “the plain and unvarnished truth”
    synonyms: unvarnished
    direct
    straightforward in means or manner or behavior or language or action
  7. adjective
    lacking in physical beauty or proportion
    “a plain girl with a freckled face”
    synonyms: homely
    unattractive
    lacking beauty or charm
  8. adverb
    unmistakably (`plain' is often used informally for `plainly')
    “he is plain stubborn”
    synonyms: apparently, evidently, manifestly, obviously, patently, plainly
  9. noun
    extensive tract of level open land
    “they emerged from the woods onto a vast open plain
    synonyms: champaign, field
    see moresee less
    examples:
    Olympia
    a plain in Greece in the northwestern Peloponnese; the chief sanctuary of Zeus and the site of the original Olympian Games
    Nullarbor Plain
    a vast arid plain of southern Australia stretching inland from the Great Australian Bight; has sparse vegetation and no surface water and is almost uninhabited; the site of a major rocket research center
    Serengeti Plain
    a vast plain in Tanzania to the west of the Great Rift Valley known for its wildlife
    types:
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    flat
    a level tract of land
    flood plain, floodplain
    a low plain adjacent to a river that is formed chiefly of river sediment and is subject to flooding
    llano
    an extensive grassy and nearly treeless plain (especially in Latin America)
    moor, moorland
    open land usually with peaty soil covered with heather and bracken and moss
    peneplain, peneplane
    a more or less level land surface representing an advanced stage of erosion undisturbed by crustal movements
    snowfield
    a permanent wide expanse of snow
    steppe
    extensive plain without trees (associated with eastern Russia and Siberia)
    tundra
    a vast treeless plain in the Arctic regions where the subsoil is permanently frozen
    alluvial flat, alluvial plain
    a flat resulting from repeated deposits of alluvial material by running water
    salt flat, salt plain
    a flat expanse of salt left by the evaporation of a body of salt water
    type of:
    dry land, earth, ground, land, solid ground, terra firma
    the solid part of the earth's surface
  10. noun
    a basic knitting stitch
    synonyms: knit, knit stitch, plain stitch
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    type of:
    knitting stitch
    a stitch taken in knitting
  11. verb
    express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness
    synonyms: complain, kick, kvetch, quetch, sound off
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    cheer, cheer up, chirk up
    become cheerful
    types:
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    hen-peck, nag, peck
    bother persistently with trivial complaints
    backbite, bitch
    say mean things
    grizzle, whine, yammer, yawp
    complain whiningly
    croak, gnarl, grumble, murmur, mutter
    make complaining remarks or noises under one's breath
    grouch, grumble, scold
    show one's unhappiness or critical attitude
    protest
    utter words of protest
    repine
    express discontent
    beef, bellyache, bitch, crab, gripe, grouse, holler, squawk
    complain
    inveigh, rail
    complain bitterly
    bemoan, bewail, deplore, lament
    regret strongly
    report
    complain about; make a charge against
    bleat
    talk whiningly
    declaim, inveigh
    speak against in an impassioned manner
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