adj. & n.
1 chief in size, importance, extent, etc.; principal (the main part; the main point).
2 exerted to the full (by main force).
1 a principal channel, duct, etc., for water, sewage, etc. (water main).
2 (usu. in pl.; prec. by the) a the central distribution network for electricity, gas, water, etc. b a domestic electricity supply as distinct from batteries.
3 archaic or poet. a the ocean or oceans (the Spanish Main). b the mainland.
Phrases and idioms:
in the main for the most part. main brace Naut. the brace attached to the main yard. the main chance one's own interests. main course
1 the chief course of a meal.
2 Naut. the mainsail.
main deck Naut.
1 the deck below the spar-deck in a man-of-war.
2 the upper deck between the poop and the forecastle in a merchantman.
main line
1 a chief railway line.
2 sl. a principal vein, esp. as a site for a drug injection (cf. MAINLINE).
3 US a chief road or street. main stem US colloq. = main street. main street the principal street of a town. Main Street US materialistic philosophy (after Sinclair Lewis's novel, 1920). main yard Naut. the yard on which the mainsail is extended. with might and main with all one's force.
Etymology: ME, partly f. ON megenn, megn (adj.), partly f. OE maeliggen- f. Gmc: (n.) orig. = physical force
1 (in the game of hazard) a number (5, 6, 7, 8, or 9) called by a player before dice are thrown.
2 a match between fighting-cocks.
Etymology: 16th c.: prob. orig. main chance: see MAIN(1)

Useful english dictionary. 2012.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Main — (m[=a]n), a. [From {Main} strength, possibly influenced by OF. maine, magne, great, L. magnus. Cf. {Magnate}.] 1. Very or extremely strong. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] That current with main fury ran. Daniel. [1913 Webster] 2. Vast; huge. [Obs.] The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Main — Main, n. [AS. m[ae]gen strength, power, force; akin to OHG. magan, Icel. megin, and to E. may, v. [root]103. See {May}, v.] 1. Strength; force; might; violent effort. [Obs., except in certain phrases.] [1913 Webster] There were in this battle of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Main — der; [e]s: rechter Nebenfluss des Rheins. * * * I Main   [dt. »Haupt «], die Hauptfunktion in einem C bzw. C++ Programm (C, C++). Jedes C bzw. C++ Programm muss genau eine solche Funktion enthalten, von der ausgehend der weitere Ablauf des Progr …   Universal-Lexikon

  • main — [mān] n. [ME < OE mægen, akin to ON magn: see MIGHT2] 1. physical strength; force; power: now only in with might and main, with all one s strength, with all one s strength 2. [< MAIN the adj.] the principal or most important part or point:… …   English World dictionary

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