Definition of grain noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɡreɪn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡreɪn//
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  1. 1  [uncountable, countable] the small hard seeds of food plants such as wheat, rice, etc.; a single seed of such a plant America’s grain exports a few grains of rice Wordfinderblight, cereal, crop, genetically modified, grain, harvest, monoculture, organic, staple, yield see also wholegrain See related entries: Crops
  2. 2  [countable] a small hard piece of particular substances a grain of salt/sand/sugar
  3. 3[countable] (used especially in negative sentences) a very small amount synonym iota There isn't a grain of truth in those rumours. If he had a grain of sensitivity he wouldn't have asked her about her divorce.
  4. 4 [countable] a small unit of weight, equal to 0.00143 of a pound or 0.0648 of a gram, used for example for weighing medicines The analysis showed a few grains of arsenic in the solution.
  5. 5[uncountable] the natural direction of lines in wood, cloth, etc. or of layers of rock; the pattern of lines that you can see to cut a piece of wood along/across the grain
  6. 6[uncountable, countable] how rough or smooth a surface feels wood of coarse/fine grain
  7. Word OriginMiddle English (originally in the sense ‘seed, grain of corn’): from Old French grain, from Latin granum.Extra examples The journal reports that eating whole grains protects against diabetes. This wood has a beautiful natural grain. Grain production has been falling in recent years. I got a grain of sand caught in my eye. She sprinkled a few more grains of rice into the pan. The government intends to import only five per cent of the country’s grain. The peasants had ceased to sow grain. There were just a few grains of corn left. a grain of rice/​wheat/​salt/​sugar/​sandIdioms
    be/go against the grain
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    to be or do something different from what is normal or natural It really goes against the grain to have to work on a Sunday.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: grain

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