The Collaborative International Dictionary
Plain \Plain\, a. [Compar. Plainer; superl. Plainest.] [F., level, flat, fr. L. planus, perhaps akin to E. floor. Cf. Llano, Piano, Plan, Plane level, a level surface.]
Without elevations or depressions; flat; level; smooth; even. See Plane.
The crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.
--Isa. xl. 4.
Open; clear; unencumbered; equal; fair.
Our troops beat an army in plain fight.
Not intricate or difficult; evident; manifest; obvious; clear; unmistakable. ``'T is a plain case.''
Void of extraneous beauty or ornament; without conspicious embellishment; not rich; simple.
Not highly cultivated; unsophisticated; free from show or pretension; simple; natural; homely; common. ``Plain yet pious Christians.''
--Hammond. ``The plain people.''
Free from affectation or disguise; candid; sincere; artless; honest; frank. ``An honest mind, and plain.''
Not luxurious; not highly seasoned; simple; as, plain food.
Without beauty; not handsome; homely; as, a plain woman.
Not variegated, dyed, or figured; as, plain muslin.
Not much varied by modulations; as, a plain tune. Plain battle, open battle; pitched battle. [Obs.] --Chaucer. Plain chant (Mus.) Same as Plain song, below. Plain chart (Naut.), a chart laid down on Mercator's projection. Plain dealer.
One who practices plain dealing.
A simpleton. [Obs.] --Shak. Plain dealing. See under Dealing. Plain molding (Join.), molding of which the surfaces are plain figures. Plain sewing, sewing of seams by simple and common stitches, in distinct from fancy work, embroidery, etc.; -- distinguished also from designing and fitting garments. Plain song.
The Gregorian chant, or canto fermo; the prescribed melody of the Roman Catholic service, sung in unison, in tones of equal length, and rarely extending beyond the compass of an octave.
A simple melody.
Plain speaking, plainness or bluntness of speech.
Syn: Level; flat; smooth; open; artless; unaffected; undisguised; frank; sincere; honest; candid; ingenuous; unembellished; downright; blunt; clear; simple; distinct; manifest; obvious; apparent. See Manifest.
Usage examples of "plain sewing".
They do plain sewing and laundry for the Cathedral and the Abbey here.
She went into her bedroom and came back with a bit of plain sewing.
Perhaps the lady with puffed sleeves would be able to get her a little plain sewing to do.
A maid in a chair was keeping an eye on them while doing some plain sewing.
The lady did, as I have intimated, a bit of charring, a bit of plain sewing, and also derived no small revenue from her vegetables and fruit, thus managing, as she owned the free-hold of the premises, to make a decent living for herself and child.
By her own efforts Mrs Williams, like all the people she knew, might have earned fivepence a day at weeding or plain sewing, though some of the gentlemen might have done a little better at haysel and harvest.