- 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</p>
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