Meaning of MAIN in English

main 1

/mayn/ , adj.

1. chief in size, extent, or importance; principal; leading: the company's main office; the main features of a plan.

2. sheer; utmost, as strength or force: to lift a stone by main force.

3. of or pertaining to a broad expanse: main sea.

4. Gram. syntactically independent; capable of use in isolation. Cf. dependent (def. 4), independent (def. 14), main clause .

5. Naut.

a. of or pertaining to a mainmast.

b. noting or pertaining to a sail, yard, boom, etc., or to any rigging belonging to a mainmast.

c. noting any stay running aft and upward to the head of a mainmast: main topmast stay.

6. Obs.

a. having or exerting great strength or force; mighty.

b. having momentous or important results; significant.


7. a principal pipe or duct in a system used to distribute water, gas, etc.

8. physical strength, power, or force: to struggle with might and main.

9. the chief or principal part or point: The main of their investments was lost during the war.

10. Literary. the open ocean; high sea: the bounding main.

11. the mainland.

12. in the main , for the most part; chiefly: In the main, the novel was dull reading.


13. South Midland U.S. ( chiefly Appalachian ). very; exceedingly: The dogs treed a main big coon.

v.i. , v.t.

14. Slang. mainline.

[ bef. 900; (n.) ME meyn, mayn strength, power, OE maegen, c. ON megin ( n ), megn strength; (adj.) ME mayn, partly megenn, megn strong, partly independent use of OE maegen (n.) taken as an adj. in compounds, as in maegen-weorc, lit., work of might ]

Syn. 1. cardinal, prime, paramount, primary, capital. 2. pure, direct. 7. conduit. 8. might.

Ant. 1. secondary, least. 8. weakness.

main 2

/mayn/ , n.

a cockfighting match.

[ 1560-70; perh. special use of MAIN 1 ; cf. main chance ]

Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary.      Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House .