Synonyms of plain in English:


See US English definition of plain

See UK English definition of plain

See Spanish definition of sencillo


1‘it was plain that something was very wrong’

obvious, clear, crystal clear, as clear as crystal, evident, apparent, manifest, patent, visible, discernible, perceptible, perceivable, noticeable, detectable, recognizable, observable, unmistakable, transparent, palpable, distinct, pronounced, marked, striking, conspicuous, overt, self-evident, indisputable
as plain as a pikestaff, staring someone in the face, writ large, written all over someone, as plain as day, plain to see, beyond doubt, beyond a doubt, beyond question
informal as plain as the nose on one's face, standing out like a sore thumb, sticking out like a sore thumb, standing out a mile, sticking out a mile

2‘put it in plain English’

intelligible, comprehensible, understandable, coherent, accessible, uncomplicated, lucid, perspicuous, unambiguous, clear, simple, straightforward, clearly expressed, clear-cut, direct, digestible, user-friendly

unclear, obscure

3‘there were indrawn breaths at such plain speaking’

candid, frank, outspoken, forthright, plain-spoken, direct, honest, truthful, blunt, downright, unvarnished, bald, straight from the shoulder, explicit, unequivocal
informal upfront
archaic round, free-spoken

4‘her plain black dress’

simple, ordinary, unadorned, undecorated, unembellished, unornamented, unpretentious, unostentatious, unfussy, homely, homespun, basic, modest, unsophisticated, penny plain, without frills
stark, severe, spartan, austere, chaste, bare, uncluttered, restrained, muted, unpatterned, patternless, everyday, workaday

fancy, elaborate

5‘a rather plain girl’

unattractive, unprepossessing, as plain as a pikestaff, ugly, ill-favoured, unlovely, ordinary-looking
North American homely
informal not much to look at, fugly
British informal no oil painting
New Zealand informal huckery

attractive, beautiful, good-looking

6‘a plain, honest man with no nonsense about him’

straightforward, unpretentious, simple, ordinary, average, unassuming, unaffected, honest-to-goodness, ingenuous, artless, guileless, sincere
North American cracker-barrel

pretentious, affected

7‘it was plain bad luck’

sheer, pure, downright, out-and-out, unmitigated, rank, nothing other than


1‘this is just plain stupid’

downright, utterly, absolutely, completely, totally, beyond, really, thoroughly, positively, profoundly, categorically, simply, incontrovertibly, unquestionably, undeniably
informal plumb


1‘the vast treeless plains of North America’

grassland, flatland, lowland, pasture, meadowland, open country, prairie, savannah, steppe
tableland, tundra, pampas, campo, llano, vega
Geology pediplain
literary champaign


    plain sailing

    ‘getting their products onto the market has not been plain sailing’

    uncomplicated, straightforward, simple, easy, effortless, painless, undemanding, unexacting
    elementary, a five-finger exercise, child's play
    informal as easy as falling off a log, as easy as pie, as easy as ABC, a piece of cake, a cinch, a snip, easy-peasy, no sweat, a doddle, money for old rope, money for jam, kids' stuff, a breeze, a doss, a cakewalk
    North American informal duck soup, a snap
    Australian, New Zealand informal a bludge, a snack
    South African informal a piece of old tackle