Grain strictly speaking, signifies the fruit or seed, growing in a spike or ear ; in which sense it comprehends corn of every kind, such as Wheat, Rye, Barley, Oats, etc. Of the preparation, culture, and preservation of these, we treat in their alphabetical series. Grain, also denotes the smallest weight used in England, and which is thus denominated, because it is regulated by the weight of a grain of wheat, selected from the middle of the ear, and well dried. The grain is employed for troy-weight, in the weighing of gold, silver, jewels, bread, and liquors.
The grain employed by apothecaries, is the same as that of gold-smiths (see Avoirdufois), though they afterwards vary with respect to the computation of greater weights arising from the aggregate of grains. Thus, with the former, 20 grains make a scruple, 3 scruples a dram, 8 drams an ounce, and 12 ounces a pound.
Grain, is likewise applied to the figures, or representations of grains on stones, stuffs, leather, etc. Thus we say, in some marbles the grain is very fine, in others it is much coarser; Morocco has a richer, that is, a larger grain than shagreen, etc.