|Origin:||Latin planus 'flat, level, clear'|
plain1 S2 W3
very clear, and easy to understand or recognize [= obvious]
it is plain (that)
It was plain that Giles was not going to agree.
The advantages were plain to see.
You have made your feelings plain enough.
Let me make it plain (=state it clearly). We do not want you here.
make yourself plain (=make what you are saying clear)
If you do that again you will be severely punished. Do I make myself plain?
as plain as day/the nose on your face (=very clear)
in clear and simple words, without using technical language:
The document, written in plain English, tells you about your new policy.
without anything added or without decoration [= simple]:
a plain white blouse
a plain wooden table
a plain gold wedding ring
Your essay should be written on plain paper (=paper with no lines on it).
showing clearly and honestly what is true or what you think about something [= frank, candid]:
Let's have some plain, truthful answers.
I don't know, and that's the plain truth.
The plain fact is people still buy books.
used to emphasize that a particular type of behaviour, attitude etc is involved, usually a bad one:
emphasis[only before noun] spoken
His motive was plain greed.
When you told him his house was too cold that was just plain bad manners.
not beautiful or attractive - often used because you want to avoid saying this directly:
Mrs Cookson was a rather plain woman.
plain Jane (=used to talk about a woman who is not beautiful)
used to show that someone does not have or use a special title:
I don't call him Uncle - just plain Bill.
to be very easy to do or achieve:
If you can answer the first question, the rest of the test should be plain sailing.
10 American English
if something is in plain sight, it is easy to see or notice, especially when it should be hidden:
Don't leave your valuables in plain sight.
—plainness noun [uncountable]