- Nautical. the stay that secures the mainmast forward.
- a person or thing that acts as a chief support or part: Coffee is the mainstay of the country's economy.
Origin of mainstay
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
2. pillar, bulwark, anchor, prop.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for mainstay
De Robertis, an East Village mainstay, closes tomorrow—a moment for nostalgia, but also pragmatism.De Robertis, a New York Great, Bids Farewell
December 4, 2014
Foreign fighters are a mainstay of the rebellion against Assad.Syria’s Terror Blowback Threatens Europe and the United States
May 5, 2014
The one problem with Braley's remark is that it happened to reflect on a fellow Iowan who is a mainstay of Hawkeye State politics.Picking Crops And Picking Judges
March 25, 2014
The social media site has become a mainstay for propaganda and recruiting for most major groups.Syria’s Jihadist Twitter Wars
February 16, 2014
Disobedience of the rules is a mainstay of nonviolent resistance.Love Trumped Rules for Fired Methodist Rev. Frank Schaefer
December 20, 2013
(p. 046) Throughout 1914 Paul was the mainstay of the magazine.War Letters of a Public-School Boy
The working people of any community are the mainstay and backbone of that community.
Kuvalda loses his mainstay when his comrade, the schoolmaster, dies.Maxim Gorki
Gory and grewsome,—he is the mainstay Of the historic novel of to-day.A Phenomenal Fauna
Stick to your two little sisters, boy; you must be their mainstay when I am gone.Tessa
- nautical the forestay that braces the mainmast
- a chief support
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
Word Origin and History for mainstay
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper