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main idea

the most important or central thought of a paragraph or larger section of text, which tells the reader what the text is about:
Find the main idea in each paragraph. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for main idea
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The main idea in all courses was to do what you had to but no more.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • All through this their main idea has been not to trouble you.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Inevitably it turns to this sort of violence when the uneducated have seized on its main idea.

    We Two Edna Lyall
  • Show how the opening paragraph introduces the main idea of the story.

    Americans All Various
  • The main idea of the story, however, is curiously distorted.

    Italian Popular Tales

    Thomas Frederick Crane
  • His changes had merely muddied the plot and cheapened her main idea.

    Ruth Fielding Down East

    Alice B. Emerson
  • The main idea of confession, I take it, is gettin' at the facts.

    On the Frontier Bret Harte
  • Deliverance from his enemies is the psalmist's main idea in the word here.

  • The main idea of the chapter is borrowed from Montaigne, Essais, l. iii.

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