sheer; utmost, as strength or force: to lift a stone by main force.
of or relating to a broad expanse: main sea.
having or exerting great strength or force; mighty.
having momentous or important results; significant.
a principal pipe or duct in a system used to distribute water, gas, etc.
physical strength, power, or force: to struggle with might and main.
the chief or principal part or point: The main of their investments was lost during the war.
Literary. the open ocean; high sea: the bounding main.
Usually mains . a main course in a meal: The restaurant offers four mains: one chicken, two beef, and one fish.
Idioms about main
in the main, for the most part; chiefly: In the main, the novel was dull reading.
Other definitions for main (2 of 3)
a cockfighting match.
Other definitions for Main (3 of 3)
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. 2023
How to use main in a sentence
One of the main differences between them is that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two shots given several weeks apart, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single shot, which might be more appealing to some people.Pfizer, Moderna or maybe J&J? Right now, the best vaccine for you is the one you can get. | Allyson Chiu | February 25, 2021 | Washington Post
Though the neighborhood’s main commercial corridor along Roosevelt Road was still thriving, a growing number of homes and buildings in the ward had been neglected or divided up into crowded apartments.
They’re trying to figure out the limitations of assembly-line production workers and kind of early on they think fatigue is the main limitation.
The main way it’s spread is by the air, either by larger droplets via close contact, or by smaller droplets called aerosols.Why are we still disinfecting surfaces to stop COVID-19? | By Hassan Vally/The Conversation | February 24, 2021 | Popular-Science
It comes with four different side compartments to fit smaller essentials as well as a main area for clothing, shoes, a laptop, and other larger items.
Flesh encircled him at the main pool of the Paradise Hotel and Residences at Boca.Powerful Congressman Writes About ‘Fleshy Breasts’ | Asawin Suebsaeng | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
They even switched off their location service—one of the main perks of the program.Sisi Is Persecuting, Prosecuting, and Publicly Shaming Egypt’s Gays | Bel Trew | December 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
At the same time, the heaviest parts—the main fuselage, the engines and wings—sink to the bottom.
In his statement, Rigi named Naser Boledi as a main mediator between him and representatives of NATO.The Dangerous Drug-Funded Secret War Between Iran and Pakistan | Umar Farooq | December 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Sometimes, they had a backup aim if their main goal fell through as the night dragged on.The Craziest Date Night for Single Jews, Where Mistletoe Is Ditched for Shots | Emily Shire | December 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
A second main division of our schooling was mathematical instruction of a sort.The Salvaging Of Civilisation | H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
To-day I have stood in the main battery which has fired a shot establishing, in its way, a record in the annals of destruction.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
The main entrance is in the centre of the St. Martin's Lane front, and consists of a central roadway for carts and wagons, 15ft.Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham | Thomas T. Harman and Walter Showell
The percentage of gold to the notes—the main demand liability—has, of course, fallen from about 65 to 35 per cent.Readings in Money and Banking | Chester Arthur Phillips
When a leaf is so young that it wraps itself around the main stalk it's useless to try to turn it over.The Tale of Grandfather Mole | Arthur Scott Bailey
British Dictionary definitions for main (1 of 3)
chief or principal in rank, importance, size, etc
sheer or utmost (esp in the phrase by main force)
nautical of, relating to, or denoting any gear, such as a stay or sail, belonging to the mainmast
obsolete significant or important
a principal pipe, conduit, duct, or line in a system used to distribute water, electricity, etc
the main distribution network for water, gas, or electricity
(as modifier): mains voltage
British Dictionary definitions for main (2 of 3)
a throw of the dice in dice games
a cockfighting contest
a match in archery, boxing, etc
British Dictionary definitions for Main (3 of 3)
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with main
In addition to the idioms beginning with main
- main drag
- main squeeze
- 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.