Meaning of MAIN in English

1. 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 m{aelig}gen- f. Gmc: (n.) orig. physical force 2. n.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)

Oxford English vocab.      Оксфордский английский словарь.