homely vs plain what difference

what is difference between homely and plain

English

Alternative forms

  • hamely (Scotland)

Etymology

From Middle English homly, hoomly, hamely (domestic, familiar, plain), from Old English *hāmlīc (of the home, domestic), from Proto-West Germanic *haimalīk (of or characteristic of home), equivalent to home +‎ -ly. Cognate with Scots hamely (familiar, personal, private), West Frisian heimelik, Dutch heimelijk (secret, secretive, clandestine), German heimlich (secret, secretive, clandestine, undercover), Danish hemmelig (secret), Swedish hemlig (secret, concealed, privy, covert), Faroese heimligur (homelike, homey), Icelandic heimlegur (homely; worldly).

Pronunciation

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈhəʊmli/
  • (US) enPR: hōmʹlē, IPA(key): /ˈhoʊmli/
  • Rhymes: -əʊmli
  • Hyphenation: home‧ly

Adjective

homely (comparative homelier or more homely, superlative homeliest or most homely)

  1. Characteristic of, belonging to, or befitting a home; domestic, cozy. [from early 14th c.]
  2. (Canada, US) Lacking in beauty or elegance, plain in appearance, physically unattractive.
    • There is none so homely but loves a looking-glass.
    Antonym: comely
  3. (Britain dialectal) On intimate or friendly terms with (someone); familiar; at home (with a person); intimate.
  4. (Britain dialectal, of animals) Domestic; tame.
  5. (Britain dialectal) Personal; private.
  6. (Britain dialectal) Friendly; kind; gracious; cordial.
  7. (India) Conservative and family-oriented.
  8. (archaic) Simple; plain; familiar; unelaborate; unadorned. [from late 14th c.]

Derived terms

  • homely as a hedge fence

Translations


Middle English

Adverb

homely

  1. Alternative form of homly

Adjective

homely

  1. Alternative form of homly


English

Pronunciation

  • enPR: plān, IPA(key): /pleɪn/, [pʰl̥eɪn]
  • Rhymes: -eɪn
  • Homophone: plane

Etymology 1

From Middle English pleyn, borrowed from Anglo-Norman pleyn, playn, Middle French plain, plein, and Old French plain, from Latin plānus (flat, even, level, plain).

Alternative forms

  • plaine (obsolete)

Adjective

plain (comparative plainer, superlative plainest)

  1. (now rare, regional) Flat, level. [from 14th c.]
    • The crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.
  2. Simple.
    1. Ordinary; lacking adornment or ornamentation; unembellished. [from 14th c.]
    2. Of just one colour; lacking a pattern.
    3. Simple in habits or qualities; unsophisticated, not exceptional, ordinary. [from 16th c.]
      • 1654, Henry Hammond, Of Fundamentals
        plain yet pious Christians
      • 1861, Abraham Lincoln, Message to Congress in Special Session, July 4th
        the plain people
    4. (of food) Having only few ingredients, or no additional ingredients or seasonings; not elaborate, without toppings or extras. [from 17th c.]
    5. (computing) Containing no extended or nonprinting characters (especially in plain text). [from 20th c.]
  3. Obvious.
    1. Evident to one’s senses or reason; manifest, clear, unmistakable. [from 14th c.]
      • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 2, ch. XV, Practical — Devotional
        In fact, by excommunication or persuasion, by impetuosity of driving or adroitness in leading, this Abbot, it is now becoming plain everywhere, is a man that generally remains master at last.
    2. Downright; total, unmistakable (as intensifier). [from 14th c.]
  4. Open.
    1. Honest and without deception; candid, open; blunt. [from 14th c.]
      • The Quaker was no sooner assured by this fellow of the birth and low fortune of Jones, than all compassion for him vanished; and the honest plain man went home fired with no less indignation than a duke would have felt at receiving an affront from such a person.
    2. Clear; unencumbered; equal; fair.
      • 1711, Henry Felton, Dissertation on Reading the Classics
        Our troops beat an army in plain fight.
  5. Not unusually beautiful; unattractive. [from 17th c.]
  6. (card games) Not a trump.
Synonyms
  • (lacking adornment or ornamentation): no-frills, simple, unadorned, unseasoned; see also Thesaurus:bare-bones
  • (of just one colour): monochrome
  • (not exceptional): normal, ordinary
  • (obvious): blatant, ostensible; see also Thesaurus:obvious or Thesaurus:explicit
  • (intensifier): consarn, darned, stinking; see also Thesaurus:damned
  • (honest and without deception): frank, sincere; see also Thesaurus:honest
Antonyms
  • bells and whistles
  • decorative
  • exotic
  • fancy
  • ornate
Derived terms
Related terms
  • plane
  • planar
Translations

Adverb

plain (not comparable)

  1. (colloquial) Simply.
    It was just plain stupid.
    I plain forgot.
  2. (archaic) Plainly; distinctly.
    Tell me plain: do you love me or no?

Etymology 2

From Anglo-Norman plainer, pleiner, variant of Anglo-Norman and Old French pleindre, plaindre, from Latin plangere, present active infinitive of plangō.

Alternative forms

  • plein

Noun

plain (plural plains)

  1. (rare, poetic) A lamentation.
    • 1815, Sir Walter Scott, The Lady of the Isles, Canto IV, part IX
      The warrior-threat, the infant’s plain,
      The mother’s screams, were heard in vain;

Verb

plain (third-person singular simple present plains, present participle plaining, simple past and past participle plained)

  1. (reflexive, obsolete) To complain. [13th–19th c.]
    • c. 1390, William Landland, Piers Plowman, Prologue:
      Persones and parisch prestes · pleyned hem to þe bischop / Þat here parisshes were pore · sith þe pestilence tyme […].
  2. (transitive, intransitive, now rare, poetic) To lament, bewail. [from 14th c.]
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir J. Harrington to this entry?)
    • c. 1600, Joseph Hall, Satires
      Thy mother could thee for thy cradle set
      Her husband’s rusty iron corselet;
      Whose jargling sound might rock her babe to rest,
      That never plain’d of his uneasy nest.
    • 1936, Alfred Edward Housman, More Poems, “XXV”, lines 5–9
      Then came I crying, and to-day, / With heavier cause to plain, / Depart I into death away, / Not to be born again.
Related terms

Etymology 3

From Old French plain, from Latin plānum (level ground, a plain), neuter substantive from plānus (level, even, flat). Doublet of llano, piano, and plane.

Noun

plain (plural plains)

  1. An expanse of land with relatively low relief, usually exclusive of forests, deserts, and wastelands.
    • 1961, J. A. Philip. Mimesis in the Sophistês of Plato. In: Proceedings and Transactions of the American Philological Association 92. p. 467.
      For Plato the life of the philosopher is a life of struggle towards the goal of knowledge, towards “searching the heavens and measuring the plains, in all places seeking the nature of everything as a whole”
    Synonyms: flatland, grassland
    Hypernyms: land, terrain
    Hyponyms: prairie, steppe
  2. (archaic) Synonym of field in reference to a battlefield.
    • 1899, Alexander John Arbuthnot, Lord Clive: The Foundation of British Rule in India
      You have stormed no town and found the money there ; neither did you find it in the plains of Plassey after the defeat of the Nawab
  3. (obsolete) Alternative spelling of plane: a flat geometric field.
Usage notes
  • As with grassland(s), flatland(s), &c., plains can function as the plural of plain (There are ten principal low plains on Mars) or as its synonym (She lives on the plains), with a vague sense of greater expansiveness.
Derived terms
Related terms
Translations

Verb

plain (third-person singular simple present plains, present participle plaining, simple past and past participle plained)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To level; to raze; to make plain or even on the surface.
    • 1594, Christopher Marlowe, Edward II, London: William Jones,[1]
      Frownst thou thereat aspiring Lancaster,
      The sworde shall plane the furrowes of thy browes,
    • 1612, George Wither, Prince Henrie’s Obsequies, Elegy 24, in Egerton Brydges (editor), Restituta, Volume I, London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown, 1814, p. 399,[2]
      Though kept by Rome’s and Mahomet’s chiefe powers;
      They should not long detain him there in thrall:
      We would rake Europe rather, plain the East;
      Dispeople the whole Earth before the doome:
  2. (obsolete, transitive) To make plain or manifest; to explain.
    • c. 1608, William Shakespeare, Pericles, Act III, Prologue,[3]
      What’s dumb in show, I’ll plain with speech.

Anagrams

  • Aplin, Lipan, Palin, Pinal, in lap, lapin, plani-

Dalmatian

Etymology

From Latin plēnus. Compare Italian pieno, Romansch plain, Romanian plin, French plein.

Adjective

plain (feminine plaina)

  1. full

French

Etymology

From Old French plain, from Latin plānus. Doublet of plan and piano.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /plɛ̃/
  • Homophones: plains, plein, pleins

Adjective

plain (feminine singular plaine, masculine plural plains, feminine plural plaines)

  1. (obsolete) plane

Derived terms

  • plain-pied
  • plain-chant

Further reading

  • “plain” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).

Anagrams

  • alpin, lapin

Middle French

Etymology

From Old French plain, from Latin plēnus.

Adjective

plain m (feminine singular plaine, masculine plural plains, feminine plural plaines)

  1. full (not empty)

Old French

Etymology 1

From Latin plēnus.

Adjective

plain m (feminine plaine)

  1. full (not empty)
    • circa 1170, Chrétien de Troyes, Érec et Énide:
      De tant come ele l’ot veü,
      Que plains estoit de felenie.

      As she had seen
      He was full of evil
    Antonym: vuit
Descendants
  • French: plein

Etymology 2

From Latin plānum (level ground, a plain), neuter substantive from plānus (level, even, flat).

Noun

plain m (oblique plural plainz, nominative singular plainz, nominative plural plain)

  1. plain (flat area)
Synonyms
  • plaine
Descendants
  • Dutch: plein
  • Middle English:
    • English: plain
    • Scots: plain

Etymology 3

From Latin plānus (level, even, flat).

Adjective

plain m (oblique and nominative feminine singular plaine)

  1. flat (not even or mountainous)

Romansch

Alternative forms

  • plein (Sursilvan)
  • plagn (Sutsilvan, Surmiran)

Etymology

From Latin plēnus.

Adjective

plain m (feminine singular plaina, masculine plural plains, feminine plural plainas)

  1. (Rumantsch Grischun, Puter, Vallader) full

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