plane and plain - the difference
The Quick AnswerPlane usually means an airplane, a flat surface or a tool for shaving wood.
Plain usually means simple or an expanse of lowland.
The words plane and plain have several meanings. Unfortunately, both have a meaning relating to flatness, and this is often the source of confusion.
PlainThe word plain has several meanings:
Simple (i.e., not elaborate).
- a plain girl
- a plain cake
- a plain colour
- It is plain to see.
- It seems quite plain to me.
Plain is an adjective in these examples. An expanse of level and low land.
- The Russian Plain.
- I joined the Chinese farmers as they attempted to drive the yaks across the plain in western China.
PlaneThe word plane has several meanings:
- What time is your plane?
A flat surface (especially in mathematics) .
- In a 3D space, a plane can be defined by specifying a point and a normal vector to the plane. Also means a level (usually figurative).
- I was hoping for a conversion on a higher plane.
Also the verb to plane (i.e., to shape wood).
- Can you plane a few inches off the top of the door?
car hit the puddle and planed straight into the back of the lorry.
(also known as to aquaplane)