• synonyms

main street

  1. the principal thoroughfare, especially through the business district, in a small town.
  2. (initial capital letters) the outlook, environment, or life of a small town.
Show More

Origin of main street

First recorded in 1735–45

Main Street

  1. a novel (1920) by Sinclair Lewis.
Show More
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for main street

Historical Examples

  • Main-street commands a fine view from the ascent, and is lined with Pride-of-India trees.

    Retrospect of Western Travel, Volume II (of 2)

    Harriet Martineau

  • But one day, while sauntering down the main-street, and wondering at all I saw, I suddenly encountered a strange sight.

  • When this matter had been disposed of, they wandered slowly down Main-street again, and got entrance tickets for the Museum.

British Dictionary definitions for main street

Main Street

noun mainly US and Canadian
  1. the most prominent street of a town, usually where the principal shops and businesses are situated
  2. ordinary people in general
Show More
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 main street

Main Street


"principal street of a (U.S.) town," 1810. Used allusively to indicate "mediocrity, small-town materialism" from late 19c., especially since publication of Sinclair Lewis's novel "Main Street" (1920).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper