Idioms

    in the main, for the most part; chiefly: In the main, the novel was dull reading.

Origin of main

1
before 900; (noun) Middle English meyn, mayn strength, power, Old English mægen, cognate with Old Norse megin(n), megn strength; (adj.) Middle English mayn, partly < Old Norse megenn, megn strong, partly independent use of Old English mægen (noun) taken as an adj. in compounds, as in mægen-weorc, literally, work of might
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British Dictionary definitions for in the main (1 of 3)

Main

/ (meɪn, German main) /

noun

a river in central and W Germany, flowing west through Würzburg and Frankfurt to the Rhine. Length: about 515 km (320 miles)

British Dictionary definitions for in the main (2 of 3)

main

1
/ (meɪn) /

adjective (prenominal)

noun

Word Origin for main

C13: from Old English mægen strength

British Dictionary definitions for in the main (3 of 3)

main

2
/ (meɪn) /

noun

a throw of the dice in dice games
a cockfighting contest
a match in archery, boxing, etc

Word Origin for main

C16: of unknown origin
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

Idioms and Phrases with in the main (1 of 2)

in the main


For the most part, chiefly, as in It was an excellent conference in the main. [First half of 1600s]

Idioms and Phrases with in the main (2 of 2)

main


In addition to the idioms beginning with main

  • main drag
  • main squeeze

also see:

  • eye to the main chance
  • in the main
  • might and main
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.