mainspring


main·spring

noun \ˈmān-ˌspriŋ\

: the most important spring in a watch or clock

: the most important or powerful cause or part of something

Full Definition of MAINSPRING

1
:  the chief spring in a mechanism especially of a watch or clock
2
:  the chief or most powerful motive, agent, or cause

Examples of MAINSPRING

  1. Agriculture is the mainspring of their economy.

First Known Use of MAINSPRING

1591

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