- the principal spring in a mechanism, as in a watch.
- the chief motive power; the impelling cause.
Origin of mainspring
Related Words for mainspringemotion, motivation, impulse, influence, idea, aim, intention, intent, rationale, consideration, passion, feeling, cause, provenance, element, motive, source, connection, ancestry, ancestor
Examples from the Web for mainspring
Historical Examples of mainspring
Perhaps this had originally been the mainspring of the understanding between them.Little Dorrit
How's she goin' to cock that gun, an' the mainspring fifteen pounds resistance?'Faro Nell and Her Friends
Alfred Henry Lewis
That need is the mainspring of life, the key to heaven, and the root of all evil.Olive in Italy
The words were an echo of those which formed the mainspring of the Admiral's life.Saint Bartholomew's Eve
G. A. Henty
For that was really the mainspring of her fantastic actions.The Good Soldier
Ford Madox Ford
- the principal power spring of a mechanism, esp in a watch or clock
- the chief cause or motive of something