9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[meyn-lee] /ˈmeɪn li/
chiefly; principally; for the most part; in the main; to the greatest extent:
Our success was due mainly to your efforts. The audience consisted mainly of students.
Obsolete. greatly; mightily; abundantly.
Origin of mainly
1225-75; Middle English maynliche, maynly. See main1, -ly Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mainly
  • Milk had been part of our one-block feasts from the start-mainly for cheese.
  • Loopers are somewhat difficult to detect since they feed mainly at night and hide in older vegetation during the day.
  • Seems there is no single definitive source, mainly due to absence of comprehensive research.
  • The municipality added that the surplus resulted mainly from.
  • Tire monitoring systems have been around for years but have been used mainly on big rigs and off-road vehicles.
  • The outburst ejection could have come from the entire surface of the crater, while the normal ejection was mainly from its edges.
  • Snow forms mainly when water vapor turns directly to ice without going through the liquid stage, a process called deposition.
  • There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth.
  • Other species of goatfish eat only invertebrates, while the yellow saddle variety chases mainly other fish.
  • Until recently, he said, science has been concerned mainly with things-external reality.
British Dictionary definitions for mainly


for the most part; to the greatest extent; principally
(obsolete) strongly; very much
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 mainly

late 13c., "vigorously," from main (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning "especially" is from c.1400; that of "for the most part" is from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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