Classic vs Plain - What's the difference?

classic | plain | Related terms |

Classic is a related term of plain.

As adjectives the difference between classic and plain

is that classic is of or relating to the first class or rank, especially in literature or art while plain is .

As nouns the difference between classic and plain

is that classic is a perfect and/or early example of a particular style while plain is (rare|poetic) a lamentation or plain can be an expanse of land with relatively low relief.

As an adverb plain is

(colloquial) simply.

As a verb plain is

to lament, bewail or plain can be (obsolete|transitive) to plane or level; to make plain or even on the surface.



Alternative forms

* classick (obsolete)


(en adjective)
  • Of or relating to the first class or rank, especially in literature or art.
  • * 1661 , , The Life of the most learned, reverend and pious Dr. H. Hammond
  • During the whole time of his abode in the university he generally spent thirteen hours of the day in study; by which assiduity besides an exact dispatch of the whole course of philosophy, he read over in a manner all classic authors that are extant
  • * (Lord Byron) (1788-1824)
  • Give, as thy last memorial to the age, / One classic drama, and reform the stage.
  • Exemplary of a particular style.
  • Exhibiting timeless quality.
  • * {{quote-book, year=1963, author=(Margery Allingham), title=(The China Governess)
  • , chapter=20 citation , passage=The story struck the depressingly familiar note with which true stories ring in the tried ears of experienced policemen. No one queried it. It was in the classic pattern of human weakness, mean and embarrassing and sad.}}
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-01-01, author=Paul Bartel, Ashli Moore
  • , volume=101, issue=1, page=47–48, magazine=(American Scientist) , title= Avian Migration: The Ultimate Red-Eye Flight , passage=Many of these classic methods are still used, with some modern improvements. For example, with the aid of special microphones and automated sound detection software, ornithologists recently reported […] that pine siskins (Spinus pinus ) undergo an irregular, nomadic type of nocturnal migration.}}
  • Of or pertaining to the ancient Greeks and Romans, especially to Greek or Roman authors of the highest rank, or of the period when their best literature was produced; of or pertaining to places inhabited by the ancient Greeks and Romans, or rendered famous by their deeds.
  • * (Felicia Hemans) (1804-1864)
  • Though throned midst Latium's classic plains.
  • (euphemistic) Traditional; original.
  • Synonyms

    * classical


    (en noun)
  • A perfect and/or early example of a particular style.
  • An artistic work of lasting worth
  • The author of such a work.
  • * Macaulay
  • Raised him to the rank of a legitimate English classic .
  • A major, long-standing sporting event
  • (dated) One learned in the literature of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome; a student of classical literature.
  • See also

    * classical * classics



    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) pleyn, playn, (etyl) plain, plein, from (etyl) .


  • * Bible, (w) xl. 4
  • The crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain .
  • Simple.
  • # Ordinary; lacking adornment or ornamentation; unembellished.
  • #* {{quote-magazine, year=2013, month=September-October, author=(Henry Petroski)
  • , magazine=(American Scientist), title= The Evolution of Eyeglasses , passage=The ability of a segment of a glass sphere to magnify whatever is placed before it was known around the year 1000, when the spherical segment was called a reading stone, essentially what today we might term a frameless magnifying glass or plain glass paperweight.}}
  • # Of just one colour; lacking a pattern.
  • # Simple in habits or qualities; unsophisticated, not exceptional, ordinary.
  • #* (Henry Hammond) (1605-1660)
  • plain yet pious Christians
  • #* (Abraham Lincoln) (1809-1865)
  • the plain people
  • # (label) Having only few ingredients, or no additional ingredients or seasonings; not elaborate, without toppings or extras.
  • # (label) Containing no extended or nonprinting characters (especially in plain text).
  • Obvious.
  • # Evident to one's senses or reason; manifest, clear, unmistakable.
  • #* 1843 , (Thomas Carlyle), '', book 2, ch. XV, ''Practical — Devotional
  • In fact, by excommunication or persuasion, by impetuosity of driving or adroitness in leading, , it is now becoming plain everywhere, is a man that generally remains master at last.
  • # Downright; total, unmistakable (as intensifier).
  • Open.
  • # Honest and without deception; candid, open; blunt.
  • #* (William Shakespeare) (1564-1616)
  • an honest mind, and plain
  • # Clear; unencumbered; equal; fair.
  • #* Felton
  • Our troops beat an army in plain fight.
  • Not unusually beautiful; unattractive.
  • Synonyms
    * no-frills * normal * ordinary * simple * unadorned * unseasoned * See also
    * bells and whistles * decorative * exotic * fancy * ornate
    Derived terms
    * plain and simple * plain as a pikestaff * plain as the nose on one's face * plain chocolate * plain clothes * plain-dealing * plain film * plain flour * plain-hearted * plain Jane * plain-laid * plain line * plain paper * plain sailing * plain song/plainsong * plain-spoken * plain text * plain-vanilla * plain weave * plain-winged * plainly * plainness


  • (colloquial) Simply
  • It was just plain stupid.
    I plain forgot.

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) plainer, pleiner, variant of (etyl) and (etyl) pleindre, plaindre, from (etyl) plangere, present active infinitive of .

    Alternative forms

    * plein


    (en noun)
  • (rare, poetic) A lamentation.
  • * 1815 , Sir , The Lady of the Isles , Canto IV, part IX
  • The warrior-threat, the infant's plain ,
    The mother's screams, were heard in vain;


    (en verb)
  • To lament, bewail.
  • to plain a loss
  • * Bishop Joseph Hall
  • Thy mother could thee for thy cradle set / Her husband's rusty iron corselet; / Whose jargling sound might rock her babe to rest, / That never plain' d of his uneasy nest.
  • * , More Poems , XXV, lines 5-9
  • Then came I crying, and to-day,
    With heavier cause to plain ,
    Depart I into death away,
    Not to be born again.

    Etymology 3

    From (etyl) plain, from (etyl) .


    (wikipedia plain) (en noun)
  • An expanse of land with relatively low relief.
  • * Milton
  • Him the Ammonite / Worshipped in Rabba and her watery plain .
  • * 1961 , J. A. Philip. Mimesis in the ''Sophistês'' of Plato . In: Proceedings and Transactions of the American Philological Association 92. p. 467.
  • For Plato the life of the philosopher is a life of struggle towards the goal of knowledge, towards “searching the heavens and measuring the plains , in all places seeking the nature of everything as a whole”
  • A battlefield.
  • (Arbuthnot)
  • * Shakespeare
  • Lead forth my soldiers to the plain .
  • (obsolete) A .
  • Synonyms
    * flatlands * high plain * plateau * prairie * steppe
    * cliff * gorge * mountain * vale
    Derived terms
    * abyssal plain * alluvial plain * flood plain/floodplain * gibber plain * Great Plains * peneplain * Plains * plain wanderer * salt plain * the rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain
    See also
    * grassland * meadow


    (en verb)
  • (obsolete) To plane or level; to make plain or even on the surface.
  • * Wither
  • We would rake Europe rather, plain the East.
  • (obsolete) To make plain or manifest; to explain.
  • * Shakespeare
  • What's dumb in show, I'll plain in speech.




    * English degree adverbs ----