[ meyn ]
/ meɪn /
chief in size, extent, or importance; principal; leading: the company's main office; the main features of a plan.
sheer; utmost, as strength or force: to lift a stone by main force.
of or relating to a broad expanse: main sea.
Grammar. syntactically independent; capable of use in isolation.Compare dependent(def 4), independent(def 14), main clause.
- 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.
South Midland U.S. (chiefly Appalachian ). very; exceedingly: The dogs treed a main big coon.
verb (used with or without object)
in the main, for the most part; chiefly: In the main, the novel was dull reading.
Origin of main1
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for mained
Hun- dreds of things are publicly told that should have re- mained unsaid.The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol. 5 (of 12)|Robert G. Ingersoll
British Dictionary definitions for mained (1 of 3)
/ (meɪn, German main) /
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 mained (2 of 3)
/ (meɪn) /
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
the chief or most important part or consideration
great strength or force (now chiefly in the phrase (with) might and main)
Word Origin for main
C13: from Old English mægen strength
British Dictionary definitions for mained (3 of 3)
/ (meɪn) /
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 mained
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.