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

:  physical strength :  force —used in the phrase with might and main
a :  mainland
b :  high sea
:  the chief part :  essential point <they are in the main well-trained>
:  a pipe, duct, or circuit which carries the combined flow of tributary branches of a utility system
a :  mainmast
b :  mainsail

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



: most important

Full Definition of MAIN

:  chief, principal <the main idea>
:  fully exerted :  sheer <main force> <by main strength>
obsolete :  of or relating to a broad expanse (as of sea)
:  connected with or located near the mainmast or mainsail
:  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


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
May 27, 2015
riot act Hear it
a vigorous reprimand or warning
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears