against the grain


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against the grain

1. In the opposite way or perpendicular to the direction of the fibers of a piece of wood (or meat), i.e. its "grain." Don't cut that wood against the grain, or it will be rough around the edges. For most cuts of steak, cookbooks recommend cutting against the grain.
2. By extension, in opposition or contrary to what is generally understood, assumed, practiced, or accepted. The artist always tried to go against the grain, ignoring the artistic trends of her day.
See also: grain

*against the grain

 
1. Lit. across the alignment of the fibers of a piece of wood. (*Typically: be ~; Cut ~; go ~; run ~; saw ~.) You sawed it wrong. You sawed against the grain when you should have cut with grain. You went against the grain and made a mess of your sanding.
2. Fig. running counter to one's feelings or ideas. (*Typically: be ~; go ~.) The idea of my actually taking something that is not mine goes against the grain.
See also: grain

against the grain

Opposed to one's inclination or preference, as in We followed the new supervisor's advice, though it went against the grain. This metaphor refers to the natural direction of the fibers in a piece of wood, called its grain; when sawed obliquely, or "against the grain," the wood will tend to splinter. [c. 1600] For a synonym, see rub the wrong way.
See also: grain

against the grain

Contrary to custom, one's inclination, or good sense.
See also: grain
References in periodicals archive ?
Summing up, it's Against The Grain for me, to be followed home by Royal Dignitary, Marshman and Pacific Pride.
Never go directly against the grain, but at an angle of about 90 degrees.
Against The Grain is known for its appeal to mainstream consumers as well as those with dietary restrictions.
While Redford made the best of his way home, Against The Grain travelled strongly but was forced to twiddle his thumbs before any room materialised.
Bidding to build on his impressive maiden victory, Against The Grain makes plenty of appeal in today's John Smith's Redcar Straight-Mile Championship Handicap at Redcar.
She said riding dirt bikes and wakeboarding give her a similar rush to playing softball, and she admits that being cautious in those endeavors goes against the grain of her personality.
His work is hopelessly compromised; however, it still insists on the possibility of going against the grain of conventional practices and value judgments.
It goes against the grain to condemn Labour MPs of today, but listening to this honest man has uplifted me in this time of mediocrity
There is always a thought goes through your head about playing one up but it goes against the grain for me, '' Keegan said.
Crest Co-operative's Against the Grain scheme will see the collection of used and unwanted wood from building projects, which will then be sorted and sold to Do-It-Yourself enthusiasts who prefer to use reclaimed timber instead of virgin materials.
Did your classical training ever go against the grain in the pop world?
Fernando did the right thing, which is probably against the grain for him.
Vortex, comprised of president Rick Marek and his colleagues, principals Scott Grayson and Vincent Tuminelli, does not see itself as going against the grain.
Health journalist Melissa Diane Smith writes in Going Against the Grain, "Whole grains cause lower blood sugar responses than refined grains.
They] inspired me to be independent and always go against the grain if the grain was not helpful to the whole cause.