Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

Avoid these words. Seriously.

mainstay

[meyn-stey] /ˈmeɪnˌsteɪ/
noun
1.
Nautical. the stay that secures the mainmast forward.
2.
a person or thing that acts as a chief support or part:
Coffee is the mainstay of the country's economy.
Origin of mainstay
1475-1485
First recorded in 1475-85; main1 + stay2
Synonyms
2. pillar, bulwark, anchor, prop.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for mainstay
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for mainstay

mainstay

/ˈmeɪnˌsteɪ/
noun
1.
(nautical) the forestay that braces the mainmast
2.
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for mainstay
n.

"chief support," 1787, figurative use of a nautical noun meaning "stay which extends from the main-top to the foot of the foremast" (late 15c.), from main (adj.) + stay (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for mainstay

Word Value for mainstay

13
14
Scrabble Words With Friends