Dictionary

1main

noun \ˈmān\

: the largest pipe in a system of connected pipes

the mains : the system of pipes or wires for electricity, gas, or water

: the place where electricity, gas, or water enters a building or room

Full Definition of MAIN

1
:  physical strength :  force —used in the phrase with might and main
2
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
5
a :  mainmast
b :  mainsail
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Examples of MAIN

  1. My radio runs either off batteries or off the mains.
  2. Turn off the water at the mains.

Origin of MAIN

in sense 1, from Middle English, from Old English ̄gen; akin to Old High German magan strength, Old English magan to be able; in other senses, from 2main or by shortening — more at may
First Known Use: before 12th century

2main

adjective

: most important

Full Definition of MAIN

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>

Examples of MAIN

  1. Speed is the main advantage of this approach.
  2. The company's main office is located in New York.
  3. driving down the main road
  4. This dish can be served as a main course or appetizer.
  5. And now for the main event of the evening!

Origin of MAIN

Middle English, from Old English ̄gen-, from ̄gen strength
First Known Use: 15th century

Main

geographical name \ˈmīn, ˈmān\

Definition of MAIN

river 325 miles (523 kilometers) S cen Germany rising in N Bavaria in the Fichtelgebirge & flowing W into the Rhine
MAIN Defined for Kids

1main

adjective \ˈmān\

Definition of MAIN for Kids

:  first in size, rank, or importance :  chief <Go in the main entrance.> <What's the main reason?>
main·ly adverb

2main

noun

Definition of MAIN for Kids

1
:  the chief part :  essential point <The new workers are in the main well trained.>
2
:  a principal line, tube, or pipe of a utility system <water main> <gas main>
3
:  high seas
4
:  physical strength :  force <So they stood … both shoving with might and main … — Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer>
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