main·​land | \ ˈmān-ˌland How to pronounce mainland (audio) , -lənd\

Definition of mainland

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a continent or the main part of a continent as distinguished from an offshore island or sometimes from a cape or peninsula


geographical name
Main·​land | \ ˈmān-ˌland How to pronounce Mainland (audio) , -lənd\

Definition of Mainland (Entry 2 of 2)

1 honshu
2 island in northern Scotland; largest of the Orkney Islands
3 island in northern Scotland; largest of the Shetland Islands

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Other Words from mainland


mainlander \ ˈmān-​ˌlan-​dər How to pronounce mainlander (audio) , -​lən-​ \ noun

Synonyms for mainland

Synonyms: Noun

continent, landmass, main

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Examples of mainland in a Sentence


the boat back to the mainland leaves once every two days

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This mainland China chain has been a big hit around North America, drawing lines up to two hours long for its beef oil spicy broth and other soups. Tan Vinh, The Seattle Times, "Bellevue lands a famous, big-name hot-pot spot and 42 other new openings around the Seattle area," 13 Feb. 2019 Back in mainland China, the authorities have gone to great lengths to prevent attempts to pay tribute to Liu Xiaobo. Washington Post, "Nobel widow’s release is short-lived human rights triumph," 13 July 2018 The benchmark Dow Jones index, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite all fell, following stock markets in Frankfurt, Germany, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and mainland China. Ana Swanson,, "In trade war, White House says Beijing has more to lose," 19 June 2018 Back in 2017, Strivectin pulled its products out of mainland China, where animal-testing is required. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Strivectin Is Officially a PETA-Certified, Cruelty-Free Beauty Brand," 22 Apr. 2019 Shanghai is home to the first Disney Park in mainland China and the sixth in the world. Adrienne Faurote, Marie Claire, "The Instagram Guide to Shanghai, China," 5 Apr. 2019 This would create a border between Northern Ireland and the U.K. mainland and is opposed by the Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, which props up May’s minority government., "Zuckerberg Testifies Before Senate Panel," 10 Apr. 2018 The Hwasong-12 is incapable of hitting Hawaii or the U.S. mainland. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "North Korea Accidentally Hit One of Their Own Cities With a Missile," 4 Jan. 2018 Last month, the mainland broker said a hedge fund set up by a subsidiary had racked up a $139 million loss due to choppy and illiquid currency markets. Mike Bird, WSJ, "BlackRock Spins Beijing’s Revolving Door for New China Chief," 17 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mainland.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mainland


14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for mainland

Last Updated

21 May 2019

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Time Traveler for mainland

The first known use of mainland was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of mainland

: a large area of land that forms a country or a continent and that does not include islands


main·​land | \ ˈmān-ˌland How to pronounce mainland (audio) \

Kids Definition of mainland

: a continent or the largest part of a continent as distinguished from an offshore island or islands

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Comments on mainland

What made you want to look up mainland? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


using a distributed computer network

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