A grain is a unit of measurement of mass that is nominally based upon the mass of a single seed of a cereal. From the Bronze Age into the Renaissance the average masses of wheat and barley grains were part of the legal definition of units of mass. However, there is no evidence of any country ever having used actual seeds or cereal grains. Rather, expressions such as "thirty-two grains of wheat, taken from the middle of the ear" appear to have been ritualistic formulas, essentially the premodern equivalent of legal boilerplate.

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GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems.

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  1. The harvested seeds of various grass food crops eg: wheat, corn, barley.
    We stored a thousand tons of grain for the winter.
  2. Similar seeds from any food crop, eg buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa.
  3. A single seed of grain.
    a grain of wheat
  4. The crops from which grain is harvested.
    The fields were planted with grain.
  5. A linear texture of a material or surface.
    Cut along the grain of the wood.
  6. A single particle of a substance.
    a grain of sand
    a grain of salt
  7. A very small unit of weight, in England equal to 1/480 of an ounce troy, 0.0648 grams or, to be more exact, 64.79891 milligrams (0.002285714 avoirdupois ounce). A carat grain or pearl grain is 1/4 carat or 50 milligrams. The old French grain was 1/9216 livre or 53.11 milligrams, and in the mesures usuelles permitted from 1812 to 1839, with the livre redefined as 500 grams, it was 54.25 milligrams.
  8. A former unit of gold purity, also known as carat grain, equal to "carat" (karat).
  9. A region within a material having a single crystal structure or direction.
  10. 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 purple.
  11. The hair side of a piece of leather, or the marking on that side.
  12. The remains of grain, etc., after brewing or distillation; hence, any residuum. Also called draff.
  13. A rounded prominence on the back of a sepal, as in the common dock.
  14. Temper; natural disposition; inclination.

Noun (etymology 2)

  1. A branch of a tree; a stalk or stem of a plant.
  2. A tine, prong, or fork.
    1. One of the branches of a valley or river.
    2. An iron fish spear or harpoon, with a number of points half-barbed inwardly.
      1. A blade of a sword, knife, etc.
  3. A thin piece of metal, used in a mould to steady a core.


  1. To feed grain to.
  2. To make granular; to form into grains.
  3. To form grains, or to assume a granular form, as the result of crystallization; to granulate.
  4. To texture a surface in imitation of the grain of a substance such as wood.
  5. To remove the hair or fat from a skin.
  6. To soften leather.
  7. To yield fruit.

The above text is a snippet from Wiktionary: grain
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