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early 13c., "scarlet dye made from insects" (late 12c. in surnames), from Old French grain (12c.) "seed, grain, particle, berry, scarlet dye" (see kermes for last sense), from Latin granum "seed, a grain, small kernel" (see corn (n.1)).
As a collective singular meaning "seed of wheat and allied grasses used as food," it is attested from early 14c. Extended from c.1300 to other objects (e.g. salt, sand). As a unit of weight, from 1540s. Used of wood (1560s), from the arrangement of fibers, which resemble seeds. Hence, against the grain (1650), a metaphor from carpentry: cutting across the fibers of the wood is more difficult than cutting along them.
A small, dry, one-seeded fruit of a cereal grass, having the fruit and the seed walls united.
The fruits of cereal grasses especially after having been harvested, considered as a group.
A relatively small discrete particulate or crystalline mass.
Abbr. gr. A unit of weight in the U.S. Customary System, an avoirdupois unit equal to 0.002286 ounce (0.065 gram).
A pictorial query language.
["Pictorial Information Systems", S.K. Chang et al eds, Springer 1980].
used, in Amos 9:9, of a small stone or kernel; in Matt. 13:31, of an individual seed of mustard; in John 12:24, 1 Cor. 15:37, of wheat. The Hebrews sowed only wheat, barley, and spelt; rye and oats are not mentioned in Scripture.