American English

Definition of grain noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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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 see also whole-grain
  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 rumors. 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. Idioms
    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.
    take something with a grain/pinch of salt
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    to be careful about believing that something is completely true If I were you, I'd take everything he says with a grain of salt.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: grain

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