Etymology
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grain (n.)

early 14c., "a small, hard seed," especially of one of the cereal plants, also as a collective singular, "seed of wheat and allied grasses used as food;" also "something resembling grain; a hard particle of other substances" (salt, sand, later gunpowder, etc.), from Old French grain, grein (12c.) "seed, grain; particle, drop; berry; grain as a unit of weight," from Latin granum "seed, a grain, small kernel," from PIE root *gre-no- "grain." From late 14c. as "a species of cereal plant." In the U.S., where corn has a specialized sense, it is the general word (used of wheat, rye, oats, barley, etc.).

Figuratively, "the smallest possible quantity," from late 14c. From early 15c. in English as the smallest unit of weight (originally the weight of a plump, dry grain of wheat or barley from the middle of the ear). From late 14c as "roughness of surface; a roughness as of grains." In reference to wood, "quality due to the character or arrangement of its fibers," 1560s; hence, against the grain (1650), a metaphor from carpentry: cutting across the fibers of the wood is more difficult than cutting along them.

Earliest sense of the word in English was "scarlet dye made from insects" (early 13c.), a sense also in the Old French collateral form graine; see kermes for the evolution of this sense, which was frequent in Middle English; also compare engrain. In Middle English grain also could mean "seed of flowers; pip of an apple, grape, etc.; a berry, legume, nut." Grain alcohol attested by 1854.

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Definitions of grain
1
grain (n.)
a relatively small granular particle of a substance;
a grain of sugar
a grain of sand
grain (n.)
foodstuff prepared from the starchy grains of cereal grasses;
Synonyms: food grain / cereal
grain (n.)
the side of leather from which the hair has been removed;
grain (n.)
a weight unit used for pearls or diamonds: 50 mg or 1/4 carat;
Synonyms: metric grain
grain (n.)
1/60 dram; equals an avoirdupois grain or 64.799 milligrams;
grain (n.)
1/7000 pound; equals a troy grain or 64.799 milligrams;
grain (n.)
dry seed-like fruit produced by the cereal grasses: e.g. wheat, barley, Indian corn;
Synonyms: caryopsis
grain (n.)
a cereal grass;
wheat is a grain that is grown in Kansas
grain (n.)
the smallest possible unit of anything;
there was a grain of truth in what he said
he does not have a grain of sense
grain (n.)
the direction, texture, or pattern of fibers found in wood or leather or stone or in a woven fabric;
saw the board across the grain
grain (n.)
the physical composition of something (especially with respect to the size and shape of the small constituents of a substance);
a stone of coarse grain
sand of a fine grain
Synonyms: texture
2
grain (v.)
thoroughly work in;
His hands were grained with dirt
Synonyms: ingrain
grain (v.)
paint (a surface) to make it look like stone or wood;
grain (v.)
form into grains;
Synonyms: granulate
grain (v.)
become granular;
Synonyms: granulate
From wordnet.princeton.edu