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

Definition for main (2 of 3)

main

2
[ meyn ]
/ meɪn /

noun

a cockfighting match.

Origin of main

2
1560–70; perhaps special use of main1; compare main chance

Definition for main (3 of 3)

Main

[ meyn; German mahyn ]
/ meɪn; German maɪn /

noun

a river in central and W Germany, flowing W from the Bohemian Forest in N Bavaria into the Rhine at Mainz. 305 miles (490 km) long.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for main

British Dictionary definitions for main (1 of 3)

main

1
/ (meɪn) /

adjective (prenominal)


noun

Word Origin for main

C13: from Old English mægen strength

British Dictionary definitions for main (2 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

British Dictionary definitions for main (3 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)

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 main

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.