grain


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grain of truth

A little bit of truth. Often used to refer to a small amount of insight or truth in something otherwise false or nonsensical. The only reason why Dave's joke about my love life bothered me so much is because there was a grain of truth to it.
See also: grain, of, truth

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

ain't got a grain of sense

Is very foolish or lacking common sense. Jimmy almost crossed the street without looking up from his cell phone. He ain't got a grain of sense!
See also: grain, of, sense

take (something) with a grain of salt

To consider or evaluate something, such as a statement, while keeping in mind that it may not be completely true or accurate, typically due to the unreliability of the source. I heard that you can get a free movie ticket if you wear red, but Kevin told me that, so I'm going to take it with a grain of salt. Take whatever that paper publishes with a grain of salt—it's really a tabloid.
See also: grain, of, salt, take

separate the wheat from the chaff

To separate the good or valuable from that which is inferior. Can you please separate the wheat from the chaff? I have no idea which of these old tools still work.
See also: chaff, separate, wheat

go against the grain

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

ain't got a grain of sense

 and ain't got a lick of sense
Rur. is or are foolish. Mary spends money like there's no tomorrow. She sure ain't got a grain of sense. I wouldn't trust Jim to take care of my kids. He ain't got a lick of sense.
See also: grain, of, sense

(a) grain of truth

even the smallest amount of truth. The attorney was unable to find a grain of truth in the defendant's testimony. If there were a grain of truth to your statement, I would trust you.
See also: grain, of, truth

separate the wheat from the chaff

Prov. to separate what is useful or valuable from what is worthless. When it comes to books, time will separate the wheat from the chaff. Good books will have lasting appeal, and the rest will be forgotten. The managers hoped that the new procedure for evaluating employees would separate the wheat from the chaff.
See also: chaff, separate, wheat

take something with a pinch of salt

 and take something with a grain of slt
Fig. to listen to a story or an explanation with considerable doubt. You must take anything she says with a grain of salt. She doesn't always tell the truth. They took my explanation with a pinch of salt. I was sure they didn't believe me.
See also: of, pinch, salt, take

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

with a grain of salt

Also, with a pinch of salt. Skeptically, with reservations. For example, I always take Sandy's stories about illnesses with a grain of salt-she tends to exaggerate. This expression is a translation of the Latin cum grano salis, which Pliny used in describing Pompey's discovery of an antidote for poison (to be taken with a grain of salt). It was soon adopted by English writers.
See also: grain, of, salt

separate the wheat from the chaff

or

separate the grain from the chaff

If you separate the wheat from the chaff or separate the grain from the chaff, you decide which things or people in a group are good or necessary, and which are not. The first two rounds of the contest separate the wheat from the chaff. Judges should not forget that when you separate the wheat from the chaff, you should try to keep the wheat. Note: You can use sort or sort out instead of separate. It's up to Wilkinson to sort out the wheat from the chaff and get the team back to the top of the table. Note: You can refer to the good or necessary things or people in a group as wheat or grain, and to the others as chaff. There's so little wheat in all this chaff. Was there rather less grain than chaff? Note: `Chaff' refers to the outer covers of wheat or other cereal which are separated from the grain by a process called winnowing. In the Bible (Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17), John the Baptist uses the image of someone separating the wheat from the chaff to describe how Jesus will separate those who go to heaven from those who go to hell.
See also: chaff, separate, wheat

go against the grain

COMMON If an idea or action goes against the grain, it is the opposite from what you feel is right or normal and you find it difficult to accept. It goes against the grain to pay more for a product that you know is inferior. The decision not to have children somehow goes against the grain. Note: Something can also run against the grain. It runs against the grain to force your child to leave home. Note: The grain of a piece of wood is the direction of its fibres. It is easier to cut or plane wood along the direction of the grain, rather than across it.
See also: grain

take something with a pinch of salt

mainly BRITISH or

take something with a grain of salt

mainly AMERICAN
COMMON If you say that someone should take some information with a pinch of salt, you mean that they should not believe it completely because it may not all be accurate or true. Reports from the authorities that the situation is calm should perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt. You have to take these findings with a grain of salt because respondents in attitude surveys tend to give the answers they feel they should. Note: A pinch of salt is a small amount of salt held between your thumb and your first finger. Some people believe that this expression refers to the King of Pontus, Mithridates VI, who lived in the first century BC. It is said that he made himself immune to poison by swallowing small amounts of it with a grain of salt. However, other people think that it is a medieval English expression, which suggests that you need to be suspicious of unlikely stories in the same way that you need salt with food.
See also: of, pinch, salt, something, take

against the grain

contrary to the natural inclination or feeling of someone or something.
This phrase alludes to the fact that wood is easier to cut along the line of the grain than across or against it.
See also: grain

a grain of mustard seed

a small thing capable of vast development.
Black mustard seed grows to a great height. In Matthew 13:31–2 it is stated that ‘mustard seed…indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs’.
See also: grain, mustard, of, seed

take something with a pinch (or grain) of salt

regard something as exaggerated; believe only part of something.
1998 Bookseller Meanwhile…readers should take the quotes they see with a pinch of salt.
See also: of, pinch, salt, something, take

separate (or sort) the wheat from the chaff

distinguish valuable people or things from worthless ones.
Chaff is the husks of corn or other seed separated out when the grain is winnowed or threshed. The metaphorical contrast between wheat and chaff is drawn in several passages in the Bible, for example in Matthew 3:12: ‘he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire’.
See also: chaff, separate, wheat

be/go against the ˈgrain

be or do something different from what is normal or natural: Voting for the Liberal Party goes against the grain with him. He’s voted Conservative all his life.It goes against the grain for her to spend a lot of money on clothes.
The grain is the natural direction of lines in a piece of wood.
See also: grain

take something with a pinch of ˈsalt

(informal) not believe everything somebody says: She told me she knew people in the movie industry, but I took that with a pinch of salt.I take everything he says with a large pinch of salt. OPPOSITE: take something as/for gospel/gospel truth
See also: of, pinch, salt, something, take

against the grain

Contrary to custom, one's inclination, or good sense.
See also: grain

with a grain of salt

With reservations; skeptically: Take that advice with a grain of salt.
See also: grain, of, salt
References in periodicals archive ?
com/research/rqm2c5/food_formulation) has announced the addition of the "Food Formulation Trends: Ancient Grains and Sprouted Ingredients" report to their offering.
IAA is the major auxin involved in regulating grain development [9,2].
Try a hot or cold whole grain side dish (such as pilaf or stuffing) using brown or wild rice, kasha, bulgur, or pearl barn
While there is much information on the relevant events found in Lysias's speech, information from other contemporary sources on the structure and regulation of the Athenian grain market is useful for understanding the legal context in which the grain merchants operated and in evaluating their guilt.
For maximum effectiveness, grain refining should be delayed and performed as close to the point of pour as possible.
On average, whole wheat flour prepared from immature grain was darker and redder in color than the flour obtained from mature grain.
Hand or electric mill: Electric Grains this mills processes: Dry grains only, such as various types of wheat, 14-grain mix, various types of beans, rice, amaranth, oats, popcorn kernels, various spices and yellow lentils.
Pendleton Grain Growers, Morrow County Grain Growers and the Port of Morrow in Oregon signed an agreement in May to purchase a grain terminal on the Columbia River previously owned by Cargill Inc.
It's also available in grain weights of 75, 85, 90 and 100.
This, combined with other factors that have led to reduced grain cargoes out of Thunder Bay, upheaval in the North American steel market from foreign dumped steel, consolidation by larger shipping competitors, federally imposed port and ice-breaking fees, fuel costs, onerous insurance premiums and static freight rates on grain and vessel over-capacity have made it tougher for smaller fleets to survive.
This first sol gel abrasive grain, referred to by 3M as Cubitron abrasive grain, changed the basis of competition by grinding two to three times more mild steel than conventional fiber discs.
A common assumption is that the cluster size is identical to the crystalline grain size of the media, but this has not been demonstrated.
The chosen grain is reproduced on a piece of vinyl-like material that is painted to match the interior trim color to be tested and then bonded to the prototype part (the top of a prototype instrument panel, for example).
investment in biofuel production in response to runaway oil prices is spiraling out of control, threatening to draw grain away from the production of beef, pork, poultry, milk, and eggs.