main street



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

Origin of main street

First recorded in 1735–45

Main Street


a novel (1920) by Sinclair Lewis. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for main street

Historical Examples of main street

British Dictionary definitions for main street

Main Street

noun mainly US and Canadian

the most prominent street of a town, usually where the principal shops and businesses are situated
ordinary people in general
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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper