View synonyms for mainstay


[ meyn-stey ]


  1. Nautical. the stay that secures the mainmast forward.
  2. a person or thing that acts as a chief support or part:

    Coffee is the mainstay of the country's economy.

    Synonyms: prop, anchor, bulwark, pillar


/ ˈmeɪnˌsteɪ /


  1. nautical the forestay that braces the mainmast
  2. a chief support

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Word History and Origins

Origin of mainstay1

First recorded in 1475–85; main 1 + stay 2

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Example Sentences

Helium use started in 1927 and has been a mainstay of the parade since, with the exception of the year 1958, when a global helium shortage kept the balloons closer to earth.

Founded by Hong Kong immigrant Patrick Lo in 1996, Netgear set up shop in San Jose, California, and has been a mainstay of networking hardware since the dawn of the internet.

Bread at the readyWarm, crusty, butter-melting bread that comes straight from the oven—or at least out of a professional warmer—is a mainstay in countless eateries.

Taking on Big Tech has been a mainstay in the national conversation ever since the 2016 Presidential election, but this is the first antitrust action taken against Google.

They now share the blocks with mainstays such as Floriana and JR.

Eventually, DeCrow and Seidenberg filed suit against the East Village mainstay.

De Robertis, an East Village mainstay, closes tomorrow—a moment for nostalgia, but also pragmatism.

Conceptually, the “Angel of Death” was a cultural mainstay in continental Europe and the British Isles by the late Middle Ages.

Foreign fighters are a mainstay of the rebellion against Assad.

The one problem with Braley's remark is that it happened to reflect on a fellow Iowan who is a mainstay of Hawkeye State politics.

It is with profound regret that we cannot point to Harwood as a football hero or the mainstay of the crew.

We find a strong offset to the horror of Aztec cruelty in the very Bible, which we regard as the mainstay of our religious world.

Many of the Americans now fancied, like the British, that since Lee was a prisoner their mainstay was gone.

We have been told ad nauseam that the purchase system has been the mainstay of the British army.

Panto was indeed the mainstay of his business; it was even the warp and woof of his life.


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main squeezemain stem