mainspring

noun main·spring \ ˈmān-ˌspriŋ \

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 in a Sentence

  1. Agriculture is the mainspring of their economy.

Recent Examples of mainspring from the Web

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

First Known Use of mainspring

1591


MAINSPRING Defined for English Language Learners

mainspring

noun

Definition of mainspring for English Language Learners

  • : the most important spring in a watch or clock

  • : the most important or powerful cause or part of something


MAINSPRING Defined for Kids

mainspring

noun main·spring \ ˈmān-ˌspriŋ \

Definition of mainspring for Students

:the principal spring in a mechanical device (as a watch or clock)

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