Definition of plainly in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpleɪnli/
Pronunciation: /ˈplānlē/


1Able to be perceived easily: [as submodifier]: a light was plainly visible she could plainly hear footsteps behind her
More example sentences
  • A sinister yet plainly demarcated force of evil is ever-present in his films.
  • That same shock was now plainly visible in Mallory's eyes.
  • In that darkness, any little star showed as plainly as a sun.
1.1 [sentence adverb] Used to state one’s belief that something is obviously or undeniably true: her mother was plainly anxious to leave
More example sentences
  • Plainly, such a practical result cannot be achieved by an auditorium or a swimming pool, perfunctorily named a memorial.
  • The first version, set inside her living room as they discuss her plans, is elaborately mounted but plainly incomplete.
  • Plainly, she knows what he does.
1.2In a direct and honest way without concealment or deception: to speak plainly, I suffer from a lack of confidence
More example sentences
  • I will ask you plainly: are you a spy?
  • As he told his tale, he spoke as plainly as he could.
  • To put it plainly, the young grandmaster made the opening look like it loses by force!
2In a style that is not elaborate or luxurious; simply: he lived plainly and worked hard she is plainly dressed in a T-shirt and trousers
More example sentences
  • The entrance seems to have been devoid of ornament, with windows cut plainly into the brickwork.
  • The plainly painted individual units are fitted together the way a careful child would stack blocks.
  • The largest part of the composition is taken up by the siding of a house, which is painted plainly, geometrically, in turquoise.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: plain·ly

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