What does grain mean?

Definitions for grain

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word grain.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. grainnoun

    a relatively small granular particle of a substance

    "a grain of sand"; "a grain of sugar"

  2. grain, food grain, cerealnoun

    foodstuff prepared from the starchy grains of cereal grasses

  3. grainnoun

    the side of leather from which the hair has been removed

  4. grain, metric grainnoun

    a weight unit used for pearls or diamonds: 50 mg or 1/4 carat

  5. grainnoun

    1/60 dram; equals an avoirdupois grain or 64.799 milligrams

  6. grainnoun

    1/7000 pound; equals a troy grain or 64.799 milligrams

  7. grain, caryopsisnoun

    dry seed-like fruit produced by the cereal grasses: e.g. wheat, barley, Indian corn

  8. grainnoun

    a cereal grass

    "wheat is a grain that is grown in Kansas"

  9. grainnoun

    the smallest possible unit of anything

    "there was a grain of truth in what he said"; "he does not have a grain of sense"

  10. grainnoun

    the direction, texture, or pattern of fibers found in wood or leather or stone or in a woven fabric

    "saw the board across the grain"

  11. texture, grainverb

    the physical composition of something (especially with respect to the size and shape of the small constituents of a substance)

    "breadfruit has the same texture as bread"; "sand of a fine grain"; "fish with a delicate flavor and texture"; "a stone of coarse grain"

  12. ingrain, grainverb

    thoroughly work in

    "His hands were grained with dirt"

  13. grainverb

    paint (a surface) to make it look like stone or wood

  14. granulate, grainverb

    form into grains

  15. granulate, grainverb

    become granular


  1. grainnoun

    The harvested seeds of various grass-related food crops eg: wheat, corn, barley.

    We stored a thousand tons of grain for the winter.

  2. grainnoun

    A single seed of grain.

    a grain of wheat

  3. grainnoun

    The crops from which grain is harvested.

    The fields were planted with grain.

  4. grainnoun

    A linear texture of a material or surface.

    Cut along the grain of the wood.

  5. grainnoun

    A single particle of a substance.

  6. grainnoun

    A very small unit of weight, in England equal to 1/480 of an ounce troy, 0.0648 grams or, to be more exact, 64.79891 milligrams. A carat grain or pearl grain is 1/4 carat or 50 milligrams. The old French grain was 1/9216 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.

  7. grainnoun

    A former unit of gold purity, also known as carat grain, equal to "carat" (karat).

  8. grainnoun

    (materials) A region within a material having a single crystal structure or direction.

  9. grainverb

    To feed grain to.

  10. grainverb

    To make granular; to form into grains.

  11. grainverb

    To texture a surface in imitation of the grain of a substance such as wood.

  12. grainverb

    To remove the hair or fat from a skin.

  13. grainverb

    To soften leather.

  14. Etymology: From grein, from granum, from ǵrHnom. Compare English corn.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. GRAINnoun

    Etymology: graine, French; granum, Latin; grano, Italian,

    Look into the seeds of time,
    And say which grain will grow, and which will not. William Shakespeare.

    His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    Let them pronounce the steep Tarpeian death,
    Vagabond exile, flaying, pent to linger
    But with a grain a day, I would not buy
    Their mercy at the price of one fair word. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    Many of the ears, being six inches long, had sixty grains in them, and none less than forty. John Mortimer, Husbandry.

    As it ebbs, the seedsman
    Upon the slime and ooze scatters his grain,
    And shortly comes to harvest. William Shakespeare, Ant. and Cleopatra.

    Pales no longer swell’d the teeming grain,
    Nor Phœbus fed his oxen on the plain. John Dryden, Pastorals.

    ’Tis a rich soil, I grant you; but oftener covered with weeds than grain. Jeremy Collier, on Fame.

    Thou exist’st on many thousand grains
    That issue out of dust. William Shakespeare, Meas. for Measure.

    By intelligence
    And proofs as clear as founts in July, when
    We see each grain of gravel. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    They began at a known body, a barley-corn, the weight whereof is therefore called a grain; which ariseth, being multiplied, to scruples, drachms, ounces and pounds. William Holder.

    The trial being made betwixt lead and lead, weighing severally seven drachms, in the air; the balance in the water weigheth only four drachms and forty-one grains, and abateth of the weight in the air two drachms and nineteen grains: the balance kept the same depth in the water as abovesaid. Francis Bacon, Phys. Rem.

    His brain
    Outweigh’d his rage but half a grain. Hudibras, p. i.

    For the whole world before thee is as a little grain of the balance. Wisd. xi. 22.

    The ungrateful person lives to himself, and subsists by the good nature of others, of which he himself has not the least grain. Robert South, Sermons.

    He, whose very best actions must be seen with grains of allowance, cannot be too mild, moderate, and forgiving. Addis.

    I would always give some grains of allowance to the sacred science of theology. Isaac Watts, Improvement of the Mind.

    Knots, by the conflux of meeting sap,
    Infect the sound pine, and divert his grain
    Tortive and errant from his course of growth. William Shakespeare.

    The beech, the swimming alder, and the plane,
    Hard box, and linden of a softer grain. Dryden.

    The tooth of a sea-horse, in the midst of the solider parts, contains a curdled grain which is not to be found in ivory. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours, b. iii. c. 23.

    Stones of a constitution so compact, and a grain so fine, that they bear a fine polish. John Woodward.

    How the red roses flush up in her cheeks,
    And the pure snow with goodly vermil stain,
    Like crimson dy’d in grain. Edmund Spenser, Prothalam.

    Over his lucid arms
    A military vest of purple flow’d,
    Livelier than melibæan, or the grain
    Of sarra, worn by kings and heroes old. John Milton, P. Lost.

    Come, pensive nun, devout and pure,
    All in a robe of darkest grain,
    Flowing with majestick train. John Milton.

    The third, his feet
    Shadow’d from either heel with feather’d mail,
    Sky-tinctur’d grain! John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. v.

    Your minds, preoccupied with what
    You rather must do than what you should do,
    Made you against the grain to voice him consul. William Shakespeare.

    Quoth Hudibras, it is in vain,
    I see, to argue ’gainst the grain. Hudibras, p. ii. cant. 2.

    Old clients, weary’d out with fruitless care,
    Dismiss their hopes of eating, and despair;
    Though much against the grain, forc’d to retire,
    Buy roots for supper, and provide a fire. John Dryden, Juvenal.

    The one being tractable and mild, the other stiff and impatient of a superior, they lived but in cunning concord, as brothers glued together, but not united in grain. John Hayward.

    The smaller the particles of those substances are, the smaller will be the scratches by which they continually fret and wear away the glass until it be polished; but be they never so small, they can wear away the glass no otherwise than by grating and scratching it, and breaking the protuberances; and therefore polish it no otherwise than by bringing its roughness to a very fine grain, so that the scratches and frettings of the surface become too small to be visible. Isaac Newton, Opt.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Grain

    see Groan

  2. Grainnoun

    a single small hard seed; a kernel, especially of those plants, like wheat, whose seeds are used for food

  3. Grainnoun

    the fruit of certain grasses which furnish the chief food of man, as corn, wheat, rye, oats, etc., or the plants themselves; -- used collectively

  4. Grainnoun

    any small, hard particle, as of sand, sugar, salt, etc.; hence, any minute portion or particle; as, a grain of gunpowder, of pollen, of starch, of sense, of wit, etc

  5. Grainnoun

    the unit of the English system of weights; -- so called because considered equal to the average of grains taken from the middle of the ears of wheat. 7,000 grains constitute the pound avoirdupois, and 5,760 grains the pound troy. A grain is equal to .0648 gram. See Gram.

  6. Grainnoun

    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

  7. Grainnoun

    the composite particles of any substance; that arrangement of the particles of any body which determines its comparative roughness or hardness; texture; as, marble, sugar, sandstone, etc., of fine grain

  8. Grainnoun

    the direction, arrangement, or appearance of the fibers in wood, or of the strata in stone, slate, etc

  9. Grainnoun

    the fiber which forms the substance of wood or of any fibrous material

  10. Grainnoun

    the hair side of a piece of leather, or the marking on that side

  11. Grainnoun

    the remains of grain, etc., after brewing or distillation; hence, any residuum. Also called draff

  12. Grainnoun

    a rounded prominence on the back of a sepal, as in the common dock. See Grained, a., 4

  13. Grainadjective

    temper; natural disposition; inclination

  14. Grainadjective

    a sort of spice, the grain of paradise

  15. Grainverb

    to paint in imitation of the grain of wood, marble, etc

  16. Grainverb

    to form (powder, sugar, etc.) into grains

  17. Grainverb

    to take the hair off (skins); to soften and raise the grain of (leather, etc.)

  18. Grainnoun

    to yield fruit

  19. Grainnoun

    to form grains, or to assume a granular ferm, as the result of crystallization; to granulate

  20. Grainnoun

    a branch of a tree; a stalk or stem of a plant

  21. Grainnoun

    a tine, prong, or fork

  22. Grainnoun

    one the branches of a valley or of a river

  23. Grainnoun

    an iron first speak or harpoon, having four or more barbed points

  24. Grainnoun

    a blade of a sword, knife, etc

  25. Grainnoun

    a thin piece of metal, used in a mold to steady a core

  26. Etymology: [See Groin a part of the body.]


  1. GRAIN

    GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems. GRAIN's work goes back to the early 1980s, when a number of activists around the world started drawing attention to the dramatic loss of genetic diversity on our farms — the very cornerstone of the world's food supply. GRAIN began doing research, advocacy and lobbying work under the auspices of a coalition of mostly European development organisations. That work soon expanded into a larger program and network that needed its own footing. In 1990, Genetic Resources Action International, or GRAIN for short, was legally established as an independent non-profit foundation with its headquarters in Barcelona, Spain. By the mid-1990s, GRAIN reached an important turning point. They realized that they needed to connect more with the real alternatives that were being developed on the ground, in the South. Around the world, and at local level, many groups had begun rescuing local seeds and traditional knowledge and building and defending sustainable biodiversity-based food systems under the control of local communities, while turning their backs on the laboratory developed 'solutions' that had only got farmers into deeper trouble. In a radical organisational shift, GRAIN embarked on a decentralization process that brought them into closer contact with realities on the ground in the South, and into direct collaboration with partners working at that level. At the same time, they brought a number of those partners into their governing body and started regionalizing their staff pool.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Grain

    grān, n. a single small hard seed: (coll.) the seeds of certain plants which form the chief food of man: corn, in general: a minute particle: a very small quantity: the smallest British weight, supposed to be the average weight of a seed or well-ripened ear of corn: the arrangement of the particles or fibres of anything, as stone or wood: texture, as of leather: the crimson dye made from cochineal insects, which, in the prepared state, resemble grains of seed—hence to dye in grain is to dye deeply, also to dye in the wool: innate quality or character of anything.—v.t. to form into grains, cause to granulate: to paint in imitation of wood, marble, &c.: in tanning, to take the hair off.—n. Grain′age, duties on grain.—adj. Grained, rough: furrowed.—ns. Grain′er, one who paints in imitation of the grain of wood; Grain′ing, painting so as to imitate the grain of wood: a process in tanning in which the grain of the leather is raised.—adj. Grain′y, having grains or kernels.—Grains of Paradise, an aromatic and pungent seed imported from Guinea.—Against the grain, against the fibre of the wood—hence against the natural temper or inclination; With a grain of salt, with reservation, as of a story that cannot be admitted (L. cum grano salis). [Fr.,—L. granum, seed, akin to corn.]

  2. Grain

    grān, n. a prong, fork: a kind of harpoon.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. grain

    In the grain of, is immediately preceding another ship in the same direction.--Bad-grain, a sea-lawyer; a nuisance.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. grain

    See Forage.

Editors Contribution

  1. grain

    A type of cultivar, plant and seed.

    The grain was stored at the farmyard.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 1, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. grain

    The grain symbol -- In this Symbols.com article you will learn about the meaning of the grain symbol and its characteristic.

  2. grain

    Song lyrics by grain -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by grain on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'grain' in Nouns Frequency: #1650

How to pronounce grain?

How to say grain in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of grain in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of grain in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of grain in a Sentence

  1. Mascha Davis:

    Pizza can be made healthier if you order a whole-grain crust, add a lot of veggies and order half the cheese. And ice cream can be a better choice if you get a sorbet or eat a healthy meal and then enjoy some real ice cream for dessert, there is a better version of almost any' cheat meal.'.

  2. Jennifer Lopez:

    When I sat there, I was in my hair and makeup trailer, and heres what I felt. In my belly, I felt a flutter. I felt like a little butterfly in my stomach, and immediately I knew that I had life inside of me. the doctor says, you see that right there, that little grain of rice ? Thats the baby. You see that other little grain of rice over here ? Thats the other baby.

  3. zachary roderiques:

    Life is like an hour glass, every grain of sand means something.

  4. Abby Langer:

    I love Triscuits or any hearty whole-grain cracker sandwiched with almond butter and fresh raspberries, or with banana and cacao nibs.

  5. Hossein Lotfi:

    If Russia does not take steps to hold onto its trade with Iran, it could lose 20 to 30 percent of grain exports, once payments are simplified new players could come into the south of Iran, and they can offer lower prices.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


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    a state of being carried away by overwhelming emotion
    • A. aerial
    • B. rapture
    • C. vehicle
    • D. deterioration

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