Meaning of MAIN in English

I. ˈmān noun

Etymology: in sense 1, from Middle English, from Old English mǣgen; akin to Old High German magan strength, Old English magan to be able; in other senses, from main (II) or by shortening — more at may

Date: before 12th century

1. : physical strength : force — used in the phrase with might and main


a. : mainland

b. : high sea

3. : the chief part : essential point

they are in the main well-trained

4. : a pipe, duct, or circuit which carries the combined flow of tributary branches of a utility system


a. : mainmast

b. : mainsail

II. adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English mǣgen-, from mǣgen strength

Date: 15th century

1. : chief , principal

the main idea

2. : fully exerted : sheer

main force

by main strength

3. obsolete : of or relating to a broad expanse (as of sea)

4. : connected with or located near the mainmast or mainsail

5. : expressing the chief predication in a complex sentence

the main clause

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.