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[meyn-lahyn, -lahyn] /ˈmeɪnˌlaɪn, -ˈlaɪn/
verb (used without object), mainlined, mainlining. Slang.
to inject a narcotic, especially heroin, directly into a vein.
to use or enjoy something without restriction:
to mainline on TV movies.
verb (used with object), mainlined, mainlining. Slang.
to inject (a narcotic, especially heroin) directly into a vein.
to use, enjoy, or imbibe (something) without restriction:
mainlining coffee all day long.
having a principal, established, or widely accepted position; major; mainstream:
the membership of mainline churches.
Origin of mainline
1935-40, Americanism; v., adj. use of main line Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mainline
  • First, look at today's mainline media, a hotbed of forty-year-old thinking.
  • Amenities on the protected side of a mainline levee, including golf courses and some hotels, will remain open.
  • Overall, he says, evangelical churches grow in members during recessions while mainline ones decline.
  • Summary of input variables for mainline freeway segments.
  • The mainline will be one set of alternates and the side and outer roads would be the other.
  • As the mainline is hauled it is stored directly back onto the reel.
  • Uncap the mainline to drain, especially if an emitter is not located at the low point in the system, then re-cap.
British Dictionary definitions for mainline

main line

  1. the trunk route between two points, usually fed by branch lines
  2. (as modifier): a main-line station
(US) a main road
(intransitive) (slang) to inject a drug into a vein
having an important position, esp having responsibility for the main areas of activity
Derived Forms
mainliner, noun
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 mainline

also main-line, 1934, from main line in American English slang sense "principal vein into which drugs can be injected" (1933).

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


  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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