View synonyms for mainstream


[ meyn-streem ]


  1. the principal or dominant course, tendency, or trend:

    the mainstream of American culture.

  2. a river having tributaries.
  3. regular school classes or regular schools:

    keeping autistic students in the mainstream.


  1. belonging to or characteristic of a principal, dominant, or widely accepted group, movement, style, etc.:

    mainstream Republicans;

    a mainstream artist;

    mainstream media.

  2. of, relating to, or characteristic of jazz falling historically between Dixieland and modern jazz; specifically, swing music. Compare traditional ( def 5 ).

verb (used with object)

  1. to send into the mainstream; cause to join the main force, group, etc.:

    to mainstream young people into the labor force.

  2. to place (students with disabilities) in regular school classes.

verb (used without object)

  1. to join or be placed in the mainstream.


/ ˈmeɪnˌstriːm /


    1. the main current (of a river, cultural trend, etc)

      in the mainstream of modern literature

    2. ( as modifier )

      mainstream politics


  1. of or relating to the style of jazz that lies between the traditional and the modern


  1. The prevailing current or direction of a movement or influence: “The candidate's speech represented the mainstream thinking on economic policy.”

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Word History and Origins

Origin of mainstream1

First recorded in 1660–70; main 1 + stream

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Example Sentences

Just as for the Si2 technologies, we must now ensure that they enter the mainstream market.

Fortnite, Animal Crossing, Roblox and Among Us have swept mainstream culture to the point where even non-gamers know them well — reaching a kind of mainstream success rarely seen before.

From Digiday

Hans Noel and Jonathan Chait both wrote pieces about how mainstream Republicans would essentially learn to live with the antidemocratic elements of their party.

He published numerous non-pornographic mainstream periodicals.

As streaming has become more mainstream, people are increasingly open to subscribing to multiple streaming services.

From Digiday

Many Jewish women have been accepted as conventional, mainstream hot.

More mainstream Republicans, Rubio chief among them, disagreed.

For OK Go, the four-piece band from Chicago, mainstream success started with eight treadmills and a choreographed dance routine.

It was promoted on what might be called not-quite-mainstream or, indeed, axe-to-grind media.

All the while they racked up favorable coverage in the mainstream press, and even more sycophantic mentions in the gay press.

In the mainstream of Grouse Creek the highest percentage taken was 19.27 near the mouth at station G-1.

Longnose gar were abundant in the mainstream of the Big Blue River but usually evaded capture.

The stoneroller was usually abundant at upstream stations and was found in the mainstream of the Wakarusa River.

The effect of the drought on stream-flow at the mainstream gaging station 2.1 miles south of Lawrence is presented in Table 1.

The flathead catfish comprises a small but consistent part of the sport fishery of the Wakarusa, especially in the mainstream.





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