- the principal or dominant course, tendency, or trend: the mainstream of American culture.
- a river having tributaries.
- regular school classes or regular schools: keeping autistic students in the mainstream.
- belonging to or characteristic of a principal, dominant, or widely accepted group, movement, style, etc.: mainstream Republicans; a mainstream artist; mainstream media.
- of, relating to, or characteristic of jazz falling historically between Dixieland and modern jazz; specifically, swing music.Compare traditional(def 4).
- to send into the mainstream; cause to join the main force, group, etc.: to mainstream young people into the labor force.
- to place (students with disabilities) in regular school classes.
- to join or be placed in the mainstream.
Origin of mainstream
Related Words for mainstreamdominant, normal, average, primary, general, current, regular, common, standard, accepted, conventional, established, popular, predominant, typical, widespread
Examples from the Web for mainstream
Contemporary Examples of mainstream
Many Jewish women have been accepted as conventional, mainstream hot.Why Was Bess Myerson the First and Last Jewish Miss America?
January 7, 2015
For OK Go, the four-piece band from Chicago, mainstream success started with eight treadmills and a choreographed dance routine.OK Go Is Helping Redefine the Music Video For the Internet Age
December 15, 2014
All the while they racked up favorable coverage in the mainstream press, and even more sycophantic mentions in the gay press.The Rise and Fall of Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge, America’s Worst Gay Power Couple
December 9, 2014
Sure, there are radicals in the LGBT community who really are opposed to mainstream values—and some of them are my friends!Dear Evangelicals: You’re Being Had
November 30, 2014
Dispensaries feel comfortable getting on board with a mainstream shopping holiday.Colorado Weed Dispensaries Celebrate ‘Green Friday’
November 28, 2014
Historical Examples of mainstream
The largest group outside the community's mainstream was the black agricultural workers.Frying Pan Farm
Elizabeth Brown Pryor
When the mainstream of evolution on Darkover left the trees to struggle for existence on the ground, a few remained behind.The Planet Savers
Marion Zimmer Bradley
This species may have utilized the mainstream as a refugium in the drought of 1952-'56.
Normally the water was about six inches deep in the mainstream as it ran over a riffle adjacent to the catfish nest.
With the return of continuous flow and a consequent rise in turbidity, bass declined in abundance in the mainstream.
- the main current (of a river, cultural trend, etc)in the mainstream of modern literature
- (as modifier)mainstream politics
- of or relating to the style of jazz that lies between the traditional and the modern
also main-stream, main stream, "principal current of a river," 1660s, from main (adj.) + stream (n.); hence, "prevailing direction in opinion, popular taste, etc.," a figurative use first attested in Carlyle (1831). Mainstream media attested by 1980 in language of U.S. leftists critical of coverage of national affairs.
The prevailing current or direction of a movement or influence: “The candidate's speech represented the mainstream thinking on economic policy.”