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main1

[meyn] /meɪn/
adjective
1.
chief in size, extent, or importance; principal; leading:
the company's main office; the main features of a plan.
2.
sheer; utmost, as strength or force:
to lift a stone by main force.
3.
of or relating to a broad expanse:
main sea.
4.
Grammar. syntactically independent; capable of use in isolation.
Compare dependent (def 4), independent (def 14), main clause.
5.
Nautical.
  1. of or relating to a mainmast.
  2. noting or pertaining to a sail, yard, boom, etc., or to any rigging belonging to a mainmast.
  3. noting any stay running aft and upward to the head of a mainmast:
    main topmast stay.
6.
Obsolete.
  1. having or exerting great strength or force; mighty.
  2. having momentous or important results; significant.
noun
7.
a principal pipe or duct in a system used to distribute water, gas, etc.
8.
physical strength, power, or force:
to struggle with might and main.
9.
the chief or principal part or point:
The main of their investments was lost during the war.
10.
Literary. the open ocean; high sea:
the bounding main.
11.
the mainland.
adverb
12.
South Midland U.S. (chiefly Appalachian) . very; exceedingly:
The dogs treed a main big coon.
verb (used without object), verb (used with object)
13.
Slang. mainline.
Idioms
14.
in the main, for the most part; chiefly:
In the main, the novel was dull reading.
Origin
900
before 900; (noun) Middle English meyn, mayn strength, power, Old English mægen, cognate with Old Norse megin(n), megn strength; (adj.) Middle English mayn, partly < Old Norse megenn, megn strong, partly independent use of Old English mægen (noun) taken as an adj. in compounds, as in mægen-weorc, literally, work of might
Synonyms
1. cardinal, prime, paramount, primary, capital. 2. pure, direct. 7. conduit. 8. might.
Antonyms
1. secondary, least. 8. weakness.

main2

[meyn] /meɪn/
noun
1.
a cockfighting match.
Origin
1560-70; perhaps special use of main1; compare main chance

Main

[meyn; German mahyn] /meɪn; German maɪn/
noun
1.
a river in central and W Germany, flowing W from the Bohemian Forest in N Bavaria into the Rhine at Mainz. 305 miles (490 km) long.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for main
  • Above, within the main bulk of the pyramid, the second tunnel system leads up to a series of funerary vaults.
  • The system has a set of main components and one master: time.
  • The scope's main mirror must hold its shape even down to temperatures near absolute zero.
  • The system has two main parts: a gasifier and a fuel reactor.
  • The main problem with the job market is the lack of hiring by private employers.
  • The main campus is located in a quiet residential neighborhood.
  • Those are the main vessels that come off of the aorta, the main artery in our body.
  • The populace lines up on the main thoroughfare to watch hours of marching bands, homemade floats and home-crowned royalty.
  • The main job of a spacesuit is to protect its wearer.
  • The main road is an excellent place to spot wildlife.
British Dictionary definitions for main

main1

/meɪn/
adjective (prenominal)
1.
chief or principal in rank, importance, size, etc
2.
sheer or utmost (esp in the phrase by main force)
3.
(nautical) of, relating to, or denoting any gear, such as a stay or sail, belonging to the mainmast
4.
(obsolete) significant or important
noun
5.
a principal pipe, conduit, duct, or line in a system used to distribute water, electricity, etc
6.
(pl)
  1. the main distribution network for water, gas, or electricity
  2. (as modifier): mains voltage
7.
the chief or most important part or consideration
8.
great strength or force (now chiefly in the phrase (with) might and main)
9.
(literary) the open ocean
10.
(archaic) short for Spanish Main
11.
(archaic) short for mainland
12.
in the main, for the main, on the whole; for the most part
Word Origin
C13: from Old English mægen strength

main2

/meɪn/
noun
1.
a throw of the dice in dice games
2.
a cockfighting contest
3.
a match in archery, boxing, etc
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin

Main

/meɪn; German main/
noun
1.
a river in central and W Germany, flowing west through Würzburg and Frankfurt to the Rhine. Length: about 515 km (320 miles)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for main
n.

Old English mægen (n.) "power, bodily strength, force, efficacy," from Proto-Germanic *maginam "power," suffixed form of PIE root *magh- (1) "be able, have power" (see may (v.)). Original sense preserved in phrase with might and main. Meaning "principal channel in a utility system" is first recorded 1727 in main drain; Used since 1540s for "continuous stretch of land or water." In Spanish Main the word is short for mainland and refers to the coast between Panama and Orinoco.

adj.

early 13c., "large, bulky, strong," from Old English mægen- "power, strength, force," used in compounds (e.g. mægensibb "great love," mægenbyrðen "heavy burden;" see main (n.)), probably also from or influenced by Old Norse megenn (adj.) "strong, powerful." Sense of "chief" is c.1400. Main course in the meal sense attested from 1829. Main man "favorite male friend; hero" is from 1967, U.S. black slang.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for main

main

adjective

Favorite; most admired; beloved: This is my main nigger, my number one nigger (1960s+ Black)

Related Terms

mainline


mainline

verb
  1. To inject narcotics into a blood vessel; shoot up: after mainlining heroin the night before (1930s+ Narcotics)
  2. To take or administer stimulants or depressants of various sorts: because the economy was mainlining bigger and bigger fixes of inflation/ LA and the San Joaquin valley mainlined northern California water and couldn't wait for the next fix

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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main in Technology
programming
The name of the subroutine called by the run-time system (RTS) when it executes a C program. The RTS passes the program's command-line arguments to main as a count and an array of pointers to strings. If the main subroutine returns then the program exits.
Java has inheritted the name "main" from C but in Java it's more complicated of course. The main routine must have a signature of exactly
public static void main(String [])
And it must be inside a public class with the same name as the source file where it is defined.
(2008-11-12)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Idioms and Phrases with main
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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