Grain (grān), n. [F. grain,
L. granum, grain, seed, small kernel, small particle. See
Corn, and cf. Garner, n.,
Garnet, Gram the chick-pea, Granule,
1. A single small hard seed; a kernel,
especially of those plants, like wheat, whose seeds are used for
2. The fruit of certain grasses which furnish
the chief food of man, as corn, wheat, rye, oats, etc., or the plants
themselves; -- used collectively.
Storehouses crammed with grain.
3. Any small, hard particle, as of sand,
sugar, salt, etc.; hence, any minute portion or particle; as, a
grain of gunpowder, of pollen, of starch, of sense, of wit,
I . . . with a grain of manhood well
4. The unit of the English system of weights;
-- so called because considered equal to the average of grains taken
from the middle of the ears of wheat. 7,000 grains constitute the
pound avoirdupois, and 5,760 grains the pound troy. A grain is equal
to .0648 gram. See Gram.
5. A reddish dye made from the coccus insect,
or kermes; hence, a red color of any tint or hue, as crimson,
scarlet, etc.; sometimes used by the poets as equivalent to Tyrian
All in a robe of darkest grain.
Doing as the dyers do, who, having first dipped their
silks in colors of less value, then give' them the last tincture of
crimson in grain. Quoted by Coleridge, preface
to Aids to Reflection.
6. The composite particles of any substance;
that arrangement of the particles of any body which determines its
comparative roughness or hardness; texture; as, marble, sugar,
sandstone, etc., of fine grain.
Hard box, and linden of a softer
7. The direction, arrangement, or appearance
of the fibers in wood, or of the strata in stone, slate,
Knots, by the conflux of meeting sap,
Infect the sound pine and divert his grain
Tortive and errant from his course of growth.
8. The fiber which forms the substance of
wood or of any fibrous material.
9. The hair side of a piece of
leather, or the marking on that side. Knight.
10. pl. The remains of grain, etc.,
after brewing or distillation; hence, any residuum. Also called
11. (Bot.) A rounded prominence on the
back of a sepal, as in the common dock. See Grained,
12. Temper; natural disposition;
Brothers . . . not united in
13. A sort of spice, the grain of
He cheweth grain and licorice, Chaucer.
To smellen sweet.
Against the grain, against or across the
direction of the fibers; hence, against one's wishes or tastes;
unwillingly; unpleasantly; reluctantly; with difficulty.
Swift. Saintsbury.-- A grain of
allowance, a slight indulgence or latitude a small
allowance. -- Grain binder, an attachment
to a harvester for binding the grain into sheaves. --
Grain colors, dyes made from the coccus or
kermes insect. -- Grain leather.
(a) Dressed horse hides. (b)
Goat, seal, and other skins blacked on the grain side for women's
shoes, etc. -- Grain moth
(Zoöl.), one of several small moths, of the family
Tineidæ (as Tinea granella and Butalis
cerealella), whose larvæ devour grain in storehouses.
-- Grain side (Leather), the side of a
skin or hide from which the hair has been removed; -- opposed to
flesh side. -- Grains of paradise,
the seeds of a species of amomum. -- grain
tin, crystalline tin ore metallic tin smelted with
charcoal. -- Grain weevil (Zoöl.),
a small red weevil (Sitophilus granarius), which destroys
stored wheat and other grain, by eating out the interior. --
Grain worm (Zoöl.), the larva of
the grain moth. See grain moth, above. -- In
grain, of a fast color; deeply seated; fixed; innate;
genuine. "Anguish in grain." Herbert. -- To dye
in grain, to dye of a fast color by means of the coccus
or kermes grain [see Grain, n., 5]; hence,
to dye firmly; also, to dye in the wool, or in the raw material. See
The red roses flush up in her cheeks . . . Spenser.
Likce crimson dyed in grain.
-- To go against the grain of (a person), to
be repugnant to; to vex, irritate, mortify, or trouble.