might and main, with

Strenuously, vigorously, as in She pulled on the rope with all her might and main. This expression is redundant, since the noun main also means “strength” or “power.” It survives only in this phrase, which may also be dying out. [Late 1200s]


Nearby words

  1. mifune, toshiro,
  2. mig,
  3. mig welding,
  4. miggle,
  5. might,
  6. might makes right,
  7. mightily,
  8. mightiness,
  9. mightn't,
  10. mighty

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.