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[grey-nee] /ˈgreɪ ni/
adjective, grainier, grainiest.
resembling grain; granular.
full of grains or grain.
having a natural or simulated grain, as wood, wallpaper, etc.
Photography. (of a negative or positive) having a granular appearance.
Origin of grainy
1605-15; grain + -y1
Related forms
graininess, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for grainy
  • The video that emerged is greenish and grainy but to these researchers it is pure gold.
  • The grainy footage showed surfers throwing dynamite in a river and surfing on the resulting waves.
  • Perhaps you thought some of the scenes-grainy messes of inscrutable action-resembled a music video.
  • Feist's voice is gentle but grainy, and full of emotion.
  • Her fingers were grainy with the watermelon she'd been slicing.
  • The wasteland is filmed on the run, under the grainy murk that you get from night-vision goggles.
  • Soldiers' grainy video footage of ferocious battles, smuggled out of the country, has dramatised their grievances.
  • The shaky, grainy recording shows little, but the audio is telling.
  • But such films have a grainy crystalline structure which reduces the number of electrons that can flow comfortably through them.
  • It's a pity that the publishers couldn't run to better pictures than the grainy snaps that accompany the text.
British Dictionary definitions for grainy


adjective grainier, grainiest
resembling, full of, or composed of grain; granular
resembling the grain of wood, leather, etc
(photog) having poor definition because of large grain size
Derived Forms
graininess, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for grainy

1610s, from grain + -y (2). In Middle English, grain also was used as an adjective, "like grain, lumpy, spotted" (early 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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