main·​ly | \ ˈmān-lē How to pronounce mainly (audio) \

Definition of mainly

1 obsolete : in a forceful manner
2 : for the most part : chiefly

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of mainly in a Sentence

you mainly need to focus on improving your golf swing

Recent Examples on the Web

The training had its challenges; mainly, sickness and small injuries. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "How Sarah Sellers Went From Surprise Podium Finisher at the Boston Marathon to Pro Athlete," 8 Apr. 2019 One of the key reasons investors buy floating-rate loans, which are mainly used to finance private equity deals and dividends, is for protection against rising interest rates. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "Good Times Are Turning Bad for Riskiest Borrowers," 15 Jan. 2019 But there were some differences on taxes: Amendment 2 would impose a 4 percent tax on marijuana sales, and the funds would be used mainly to pay for services for military veterans. German Lopez, Vox, "Three ballot initiatives aimed to legalize medical marijuana. Only one won.," 7 Nov. 2018 The oil is used in beauty products mainly for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and moisturizing properties. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018 Although the barrels were mainly used as latrines, the presence of sand, gravel and brick fragments, as well as certain plant and animal remains, suggests they were also used for rubbish disposal. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Archaeologists Unseal 17th-Century Danish Latrines to Discover Copenhageners’ Dietary Habits," 9 July 2018 Good was mainly used as a wing back at Brantley last season as a junior after returning to the school following a year at Edgewater and Colonial. Chris Hays,, "Miami commit Damarius Good of Lake Brantley talks decision," 1 June 2018 But there is a very small group of people who read lips of silent footage, mainly for law enforcement. Eric Johnson, Recode, "How Peter Jackson’s team made World War I footage look new," 15 Dec. 2018 The decline stems mainly from a decrease in union membership among state employees, whose membership rates fell to 28.6% in 2018 from 30.3% a year earlier. Sarah Chaney, WSJ, "U.S. Union Membership Rate Declined in 2018," 18 Jan. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of mainly

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mainly

Statistics for mainly

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mainly

The first known use of mainly was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on mainly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mainly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mainly

Spanish Central: Translation of mainly

Nglish: Translation of mainly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mainly for Arabic Speakers

Comments on mainly

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


an act or instance of returning to life

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!