Word of the Day: Plain and Plane

plain / plan




  1. unadorned

Stained glass, engraved glass, frosted glass; give me plain glass.

John Fowles, 1926-1643


  1. free of extraneous matter; pure

If you have love, even plain cold water is sweet.

Jung Chang, 1952-


  1. clear to the eye or ear

As I understand it, laws, commands, rules and edicts are for those who have not the light which makes plain the pathway.

Anne Hutchinson, 1591-1643


  1. easily understood

Mystery is but another name for ignorance; if we were omniscient, all would be perfectly plain!

Tryon Edwards, 1809-1894


  1. sheer; utter

Nothing can substitute for plain hard work.

Andre Agassi, 1970-


  1. without pretension or elegance; ordinary

My manner of living is plain.

George Washington, 1732-1799


  1. of food, not highly seasoned or rich

Nature delights in the most plain and simple diet.

Joseph Addison, 1672-1719


  1. flat; level

It’s not always plain sailing…especially when you’re flying.

Brendan Rodgers, 1973-


  1. common

There’s absolutely no limit to what plain, ordinary, working people can accomplish if they’re given the opportunity and encouragement to do their best.

Sam Walton, 1918-1992


  1. lacking beauty

A great social success is a pretty girl who plays her cards as carefully as if she were plain.

  1. Scott Fitzgerald, 1896-1940





  1. an area of level or treeless land

If you don’t scale the mountain, you can’t view the plain.

Chinese Proverb




  1. simply and clearly

There will be days when you feel defeated, exhausted, and plain old beat-up by life’s whiplash.
Sheri L. Dew, 1953-


plane / plān




  1. a flat, level surface

Painting does what we cannot do – it brings a three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional plane.

Chuck Jones, 1912-2002


  1. a surface on which any two points form a line completely on that surface

We can in fact first place the beam of rays of moving positive atomic ions in a plane perpendicular to the axis in which we see the spectral lines emitted by them.

Johannes Stark, 1874-1957


  1. a level of consciousness

There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there.

Albert Einstein, 1879-1955


  1. a shortened form of the word ‘airplane’

Though a plane is not the ideal place really to think, to reassess or reevaluate things, it is a great place to have the illusion of doing so, and often the illusion will suffice.

Shana Alexander, 1925-2005


  1. a tool for smoothing a wood surface

Hand planes come in a bewildering variety of sizes.





  1. to make smooth; to level

Each plank he planed, each nail he drove, each thing he made molded him.

from ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy, 1961-