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grain definition

Overview

This page has 33 definitions of grain in English, French, and Middle English. Grain is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use grain in a sentence are shown. Also define these 62 related words and terms: seed, grass, crop, wheat, corn, barley, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, oat, crops, harvested, texture, particle, weight, ounce, carat, livre, mesures, usuelle, crystal, Tyrian purple, hair, leather, residuum, botany, sepal, dock, photography, processed, metallic, halide, photons, feed, granular, crystallization, granulate, wood, remove, fat, skin, soften, branch, tree, stalk, stem, plant, tine, prong, fork, valley, river, barb, metal, mould, core, bit, nautical, squall, thunderstorm, greynen, and grain.

See also: gráin, gràin, gräin, and Grain

English grain definition

Mixed grain—the harvested seeds
A close-up of wood grain—texture of material

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Middle English greyn, grayn, grein, from Old French grain, grein, from Latin grānum (seed), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵr̥h₂nóm (grain). Compare English corn. Doublet of gram.

Noun

grain (countable and uncountable, plural grains)

  1. (uncountable) The harvested seeds of various grass food crops eg: wheat, corn, barley.
    We stored a thousand tons of grain for the winter.
  2. (uncountable) Similar seeds from any food crop, e.g., buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa.
  3. (countable) A single seed of grass food crops.
    a grain of wheat
    grains of oat
  4. (countable, uncountable) The crops from which grain is harvested.
    The fields were planted with grain.
    • Harvested definition
      simple past tense and past participle of harvest
  5. (uncountable) A linear texture of a material or surface.
    Cut along the grain of the wood.
    He doesn't like to shave against the grain.
  6. (countable) A single particle of a substance.
    a grain of sand
    a grain of salt
    • Particle definition
      A very small piece of matter, a fragment; especially, the smallest possible part of something. (1 of 5 particle definitions)
  7. (countable) A very small unit of weight, in England equal to 1480 of an ounce troy, 0.0648 grams or, to be more exact, 64.79891 milligrams (0.002285714 avoirdupois ounce). A carat grain or pearl grain is 14 carat or 50 milligrams. The old French grain was 19216 livre or 53.11 milligrams, and in the mesures usuelles permitted from 1812 to 1839, with the livre redefined as 500 grams, it was 54.25 milligrams.
    • Weight definition
      The force on an object due to the gravitational attraction between it and the Earth (or whatever astronomical object it is primarily influenced by). (1 of 20 weight definitions)
    • Mesures definition
      plural of mesura
    • Usuelle definition
      feminine singular of usuel
  8. (countable) A former unit of gold purity, also known as carat grain, equal to 14 "carat" (karat).
  9. (materials) A region within a material having a single crystal structure or direction.
  10. A reddish dye made from the coccus insect, or kermes; hence, a red color of any tint or hue, as crimson, scarlet, etc.; sometimes used by the poets as equivalent to Tyrian purple.
    • 1645, John Milton, “Penseroso”, in Poems of Mr. John Milton, [], London: [] Ruth Raworth for Humphrey Mosely, [], OCLC 606951673:
      all in a robe of darkest grain
    • a. 1825, Quoted by Coleridge, preface to Aids to Reflection:
      [] doing as the dyers do, who, having first dipped their silks in colours of less value, then give them the last tincture of crimson in grain.
  11. The hair side of a piece of leather, or the marking on that side.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)
  12. (in the plural) The remains of grain, etc., after brewing or distillation; hence, any residuum. Also called draff.
  13. (botany) A rounded prominence on the back of a sepal, as in the common dock.
    • Botany definition
      The scientific study of plants, a branch of biology. Typically those disciplines that involve the whole plant. (1 of 4 botany definitions)
    • Sepal definition
      One of the component parts of the calyx, particularly when the sepals in a plant's calyx are not fused into a single structure.
  14. Temper; natural disposition; inclination.
    • 1630, John Hayward, The Life and Raigne of King Edward VI
      brothers [] not united in grain
  15. (photography, videography) Visual texture in processed photographic film due to the presence of small particles of a metallic silver, or dye clouds, developed from silver halide that have received enough photons.
Derived terms
Related terms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.
See also

Verb

grain (third-person singular simple present grains, present participle graining, simple past and past participle grained)

  1. To feed grain to.
  2. (transitive) To make granular; to form into grains.
  3. (intransitive) To form grains, or to assume a granular form, as the result of crystallization; to granulate.
    • Crystallization definition
      The act or process by which a substance in solidifying assumes the form and structure of a crystal, or becomes crystallized. (1 of 4 crystallization definitions)
  4. To texture a surface in imitation of the grain of a substance such as wood.
    • Wood definition
      The substance making up the central part of the trunk and branches of a tree. Used as a material for construction, to manufacture various items, etc. or as fuel. (1 of 8 wood definitions)
  5. (tanning) To remove the hair or fat from a skin.
  6. (tanning) To soften leather.
  7. To yield fruit.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Gower to this entry?)
Translations

Etymology 2

From Middle English grayn, from Old Norse grein.

Noun

grain (plural grains)

  1. A branch of a tree; a stalk or stem of a plant.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of G. Douglas to this entry?)
    • Tree definition
      A perennial woody plant, not exactly defined, but differentiated from a shrub by its larger size (typically over a few meters in height) or growth habit, usually having a single (or few) main axis or trunk unbranched for some distance above the ground and a head of branches and foliage. (1 of 16 tree definitions)
    • Stem definition
      The stock of a family; a race or generation of progenitors. (1 of 17 stem definitions)
    • Plant definition
      An organism that is not an animal, especially an organism capable of photosynthesis. Typically a small or herbaceous organism of this kind, rather than a tree. (1 of 15 plant definitions)
  2. A tine, prong, or fork.
    1. One of the branches of a valley or river.
    2. An iron fish spear or harpoon, with a number of points half-barbed inwardly.
      • 4 May 1770, Stephen Forwood (gunner on H.M. Bark Endeavour), journal (quoted by Parkin (page 195)
        Served 5 lb of fish per man which was caught by striking with grains
    3. A blade of a sword, knife, etc.
    • River definition
      A large and often winding stream which drains a land mass, carrying water down from higher areas to a lower point, oftentimes ending in another body of water, such as an ocean or in an inland sea. (1 of 4 river definitions)
  3. (founding) A thin piece of metal, used in a mould to steady a core.
    • Metal definition
      Chemical elements or alloys, and the mines where their ores come from.
      1. Any of a number of chemical elements in the periodic table that form a metallic bond with other metal atoms; generally shiny, somewhat malleable and hard, often a conductor of heat and electricity.
      2. Any material with similar physical properties, such as an alloy.
      3. An element which was not directly created after the Big Bang but instead formed through nuclear reactions; any element other than hydrogen and helium.
      4. Crushed rock, stones etc. used to make a road.
      5. The ore from which a metal is derived.
      6. A mine from which ores are taken.
      (1 of 14 metal definitions)
    • Mould definition
      Alternative spelling of mold (hollow form or matrix)

Further reading

Anagrams


French grain definition

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Middle French, from Old French grain, grein, from Latin grānum, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ǵr̥h₂nóm.

Noun

grain m (plural grains)

  1. grain
  2. (figuratively) a small amount, a bit
    • Bit definition
      A piece of metal placed in a horse's mouth and connected to the reins to direct the animal. (1 of 17 bit definitions)
Derived terms

Related terms

Etymology 2

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Noun

grain m (plural grains)

  1. (nautical) squall, thunderstorm

Derived terms

Anagrams

Further reading


Middle English grain definition

Verb

grain

  1. Alternative form of greynen

Old French grain definition

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Latin grānum.

Noun

grain m (oblique plural grainz, nominative singular grainz, nominative plural grain)

  1. grain (edible part of a cereal plant)
    • circa 1120, Philippe de Taon, Bestiaire, line 421:
      E quant grain ad truved de tuz maneres de bled
      When it [the ant] found grain of all manners of wheat

Related terms

Descendants